Global Switch Sydney
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Global Switch Sydney is a privately owned data centre in Ultimo in inner-city Sydney. It is the primary data repository for a number of large entities including the Department of Defence, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Department of Home Affairs, NBN Co and the Australian Digital Health Agency. It holds about 40 petabytes of data up to secret level.
In 2016, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approved an application from Global Switch Sydney's owners to sell up to 51 per cent of the company to Elegant Jubilee, a consortium largely comprised of Chinese private and government entities. The proposal was approved subject to conditions. After a number of company sales and restructures, Elegant Jubilee became effectively 100 per cent Chinese owned. In September 2019, the government decided that the only way to mitigate the threat to national security was for all government entities to exit Global Switch Sydney completely. A total of $645 million has been allocated to this task (this does not include the cost of securing alternative arrangements or purchasing all new hardware). This process is underway but will not be complete until 2024–25 for Defence.
This audit would examine the risk assessment processes associated with the decision and its implementation.