ARN

Govt calls on providers for new govCMS hosting proposals

Works to establish new procurement agreement for whole-of-government CMS hosting provisions

Australia’s Department of Finance has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the provision of hosting services for its whole-of-government content management system, govCMS.

The Government announced in December last year that it intended to approach the market to renew the procurement arrangement for its Drupal-based whole-of-government CMS platform.

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, the Department of Finance’s CIO and CISO, John Sheridan, said at the time that 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.

Now, in its request for proposal, the Government has laid out precisely what it is looking for from potential suppliers.

According to tender documents, the Solution must support versions 7 and 8 of the Drupal open source software platform, as well as Drupal version 9 and later Drupal versions, operating in production simultaneously on both the SaaS and PaaS govCMS platforms.

The solution also needs to use public cloud infrastructure, and has to support a fully managed common codebase, site-by-site extensions to the common codebase, and fully bespoke codebases.

As of January 2018 there were 64 sites hosted on the fully-managed (SaaS) version of govCMS. At the same time, there are at least 117 sites on the self-managed (PaaS) version of govCMS.

There are 200 databases currently in use on the production SaaS platform, the Government said. While there are only 64 “live” sites many sites have one or more clones. When a site is cloned all assets and database content is cloned as well, the tender documents stated.

The average database size is 400 megabytes. Most of the databases are less than 100 megabytes in size, the largest is 2.6 gigabytes.

Meanwhile, the total database storage requirement for the production SaaS environment, including clones, is 75 gigabytes.

Finance intends to appoint a single supplier, or a consortium, but may appoint additional suppliers. The contract will be for an initial period of three years, with a one-year extension option available.

Providers have until 22 March to get their proposals in.