Govt eyes new govCMS Drupal procurement deal

Govt eyes new govCMS Drupal procurement deal

Acquia's current contract for govCMS runs out in September 2018

The Federal Government is eyeing up the market in preparation to renew the procurement arrangement for its Drupal-based whole-of-government Content Management System, govCMS.

“Finance 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,” the Department of Finance’s CIO and CISO, John Sheridan, said in an online post.

In November 2014, the Federal Government inked a four-year $24 million deal with US-headquartered Drupal specialist, Acquia, to deploy and run the govCMS platform, which at the time was a brand new initiative for the Government.

Acquia beat nine other bidders at the time to win the contract through an Australian Government request for proposal process.

With the existing contract set expire in September 2018, Sheridan said the Government now had the opportunity to go back to the market with redefined requirements to meet the needs of users in the evolving service.

“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,” Sheridan said.

According to Sheridan, the request for proposal (RFP) will contain a number of mandatory requirements for participation that service providers must meet in order to respond.

These include the requisite that the solution must use Drupal software – multiple versions (Drupal 7 and Drupal 8) – and support common, customised and bespoke codebases.

The solution must also use public cloud infrastructure, that is, or can be IRAP audited and can be accredited, in accordance with the Australian Signals Directorate’s Information Security Manual, to Unclassified-DLM.

There must also be asSoftware-as-a-service (SaaS) option for Finance to manage and a platform-as-a-service option on which agencies will self-manage their sites

“Suppliers not already listed on the ASD Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) must obtain ASD certification for their platform,” Sheridan said.

“Finance anticipates inviting proposals either from suppliers that can meet, themselves or as part of a consortium, all the requirements in the Statement of Requirement.  We do not anticipate accepting proposals from entities that only meet certain aspects of the requirements,” he said.

Industry players have until 19 January 2018 to provide feedback.

The Government’s move to get feedback for its new procurement arrangement comes less than three months after it revealed the first suppliers to be added to a separate but related procurement panel for services supporting the Drupal-based govCMS.

Acquia, Catalyst IT Australia and Bliss Media are among the first suppliers to be named on the Federal Government’s newly established whole-of-government govCMS Drupal Services Panel.

A the time of writing, the panel claimed 22 approved suppliers, including Ice Media, Digital Garden and Oakton. 

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