Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Finance seeks another vendor for govCMS

Adding another vendor to the platform is expected to deliver further efficiencies and streamline the whole-of-government user experience.

The Australian Department of Finance wants to add more capability to its Government Content Management System (govCMS), seeking another vendor to deliver further platform efficiencies.

In a request for proposal (RFP), Finance said it wants to improve the overall delivery of mobile-responsive websites across the government, including having a more "standardised" user experience when dealing with whole-of-government.

According to Finance, the objective of its latest procurement effort is to deliver cost savings to government departments and agencies; make it easier for them to comply with Commonwealth polices and standards; and promote the use of open-source software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

GovCMS is an initiative under Finance, built around the principle "create once, use often" in a bid to simplify government IT and eliminate duplicated, fragmented, and sub-scale activities across agencies.

The content management and website hosting platform was developed to reduce the technology and compliance burden on government agencies, while providing a more cost-effective option for managing websites.

According to Finance, it provides agencies with a platform to design, develop, and host websites, allowing them to focus on providing content and services to the community.

At the same time, the concept of govCMS aims to build "communities of digital expertise" across all levels of government.

Finance first began offering the govCMS platform to agencies in 2015, and with its RFP is seeking proposals to continue to deliver the core govCMS service with "innovative improvements and increased service offerings".

The department is after a single provider for the additional requirements it has realised within govCMS, but said there is room for more than one successful vendor.

Just over three years ago, govCMS inked a AU$24 million, four-year deal with Massachusetts-based SaaS provider and panel member Acquia to implement the whole-of-government platform hosted on Amazon Web Services.

Finance clarified that it has no intention of modifying the agreement with Acquia and the current Drupal Services Panel as part of this RFP.

The government revealed its whole-of-government govCMS Drupal Services Panel in September, with 10 players initially given the tick of approval to provide government agencies with open-source Drupal services.

The panel, comprised initially of Bliss Media, Catalyst IT Australia, PreviousNext, Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, Cogent Business Solutions, Digital Gardens, Loud & Clear Creative, Ice Media, OPC IT, and Acquia Inc, can also be used by agencies to help them build, maintain, and support other Drupal websites that are not hosted by govCMS.

Two categories of services can be procured from the panel: Category one is for services based on specific skill sets, available at hourly and daily maximum rates, for works in areas such as quality assurance, solution design and technical architecture advisory, integration, and build and migration services.

The second category is for services based on fixed-price packages, which Finance said guarantees a minimum specific scope. Services available in this category include: Website assessments and advisory services, content migration and consolidation, and site audits and technical reviews.

The latest RFP will close March 22, 2018.

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