The Federal Government is calling on local IT partners to populate a new whole-of-government Drupal services procurement panel for its GovCMS platform.
The Department of Finance has issued the request for tender for the establishment of the new panel, which is set to provide Drupal application development services, and a number of fixed-price packages to help agencies build, maintain, and enhance their GovCMS websites.
Launched in 2015, the GovCMS platform is a Drupal-based open source web content management system hosted on the public cloud and managed by the Department of Finance. It is maintained by Acquia, which operates the platform under contract with the Department.
The call for partners to join the new procurement arrangement comes after the Department of Finance flagged in October that it would establish such a panel.
There are two offerings available to agencies within GovCMS, a fully managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, and a self-managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering that provides web hosting.
The establishment of the panel is aimed at giving government agencies the ability to procure support to manage their Drupal-based websites, and improve support to entities moving to GovCMS.
Finance has not set any limit on the number of Panellists who will comprise the panel.
It should be noted, however, that the Drupal services panel is a non-exclusive arrangement. Agencies are not required to use the panel to obtain their required Drupal services, but Finance expects that the majority will use it, particularly if the Drupal Services are required in relation to their use of GovCMS.
The whole-of-government panel is intended to be used by both non-corporate and corporate Commonwealth entities, as well as state, territory and local government bodies, other government organisations, and some schools and universities that have been approved by Finance as eligible to use GovCMS hosting services.
Successful tenderers will be asked to provide a number of Drupal services, including solution design and technical architecture advisory services, provisioning of Drupal application programming services, and building and migrating services.
Additional fixed-price packages of Drupal services that may be offered via the panel include website assessments and advisory services, website re-hosting and installation services, drupal theme development and enhancement services, and content migration and consolidation services.
The panel will be established for an initial period to 30 June 2019, with further options for the Department of Finance to extend the panel for two further periods of up to 12 months each.
Potential IT partners have until 3 February to submit their interest, while the new procurement panel is set to commence operation in April 2017.
The request for tender comes almost a year after reports of a disagreement of sorts between the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and the Department of Finance over how the Drupal-based GovCMS platform had been designed and constructed.
According to James Riley, writing for InnovationAus in March, the DTO – which has now morphed into the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) – had been formulating its own go-to-market plan for a Drupal-based CMS platform.
Since then, the existing GovCMS platform has seen ever greater numbers of government entities come on board. As of October, more than 100 sites were running on GovCMS, and at least 46 agencies had signed up to the platform.
However, the DTA is set to take on all of the Federal Government IT procurement duties from the Department of Finance.
Meanwhile, the government has released a new “Digital Roadmap,” setting out projects and timelines to deliver improved digital government services in 2017, including a new look myGov portal.
Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, and Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, unveiled the first phase of the roadmap, and an early version of the new myGov portal on 16 December, with the first stages of the new-look myGov to be delivered in the first half of 2017.
“I know the DHS and DTA have been collaborating very effectively to make the changes to myGov and the roadmap will be broadened as government agencies develop more detailed plans,” Taylor said.
“With an expanded remit, the DTA will be guiding and supporting government agencies to achieve the broader transformation vision,” he said.