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Australian Department of Finance plans to approach market in January 2018 for continued operation of whole-of-government CMS

The Australian Department of Finance (DOF) intends to approach the market in order to continue the operation of the whole-of-government Content Management System, govCMS, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) in January 2018.

For the same, it recently released a draft version of the govCMS Statement of Requirements and is seeking industry feedback.

DOF entered into arrangements with Acquia Inc. for govCMS in September 2014. The contract expires in September 2018, thereby providing an opportunity to go back to the market with redefined requirements to meet the needs of users in the evolving service.

govCMS is an open source web content management system hosted on the public cloud. Agencies using govCMS are able to create and manage unclassified websites cost effectively, in compliance with Australian government standards. Since the launch of govCMS in March 2015, 180 websites are live on the platform, 26 websites are in development and 66 agencies have signed up – well above its expected uptake rate.

govCMS delivers cost savings to agencies through coordinating government activity and economies of scale. Using a common and scalable cloud based technology platform to host websites reduces the total cost to the Commonwealth of maintaining their web presence. govCMS also seeks to make it easier for agencies to comply with government policies and standards in areas such as security, accessibility, privacy and government digital design standards.

The RFP will contain these mandatory requirements for participation that service providers must meet in order to respond:

  • The solution must use Drupal open-source software - multiple versions (Drupal 7 and Drupal 8) - as the Software-as-a-Service Content Management System
  • The solution must support common, customised and bespoke codebases
  • The solution must use public cloud infrastructure, that is, or can be IRAP (Information Security Registered Assessors Program) audited and can be accredited, in accordance with the Australian Signals Directorate’s Information Security Manual, to Unclassified-DLM
  • There must be a Software as a Service option for Finance to manage and a Platform as a Service option on which agencies will self-manage their sites
  • Responding suppliers must be willing to co-fund the establishment of the security accreditation of the solution; both infrastructure and application layer, and agree to continue co-funding ongoing review and re-accreditation activities over the life of the contract. Suppliers not already listed on the ASD Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) must obtain ASD certification for their platform.
  • Suppliers must accept the “Web Development Services Head Agreement” as written. Specific terms and conditions that arise out of negotiations will be agreed and documented under a specific module attached to the Head Agreement. A copy of the Head Agreement and any draft module will be attached to the RFP when issued

The DOF is looking for innovative proposals that make use of modern, open source technologies and implement flexible and scalable business models. 

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