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Home Features govCMS: transforming the way governments operate online
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DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Communications and the Arts, Department of Finance, Digital Transformation Office
TAGS e-government, Department of Communications and the Arts, Digital, Department of Finance, digital engagement, Drupal, govCMS, Digital Transformation Office, Acquia, digital government, Sharyn Clarkson
The govCMS platform is revolutionising the way government agencies publish content — and collaborate with each other. It’s built on a global network renowned for technology solutions.
There’s a technology revolution spreading across Australian government — and it’s set to completely disrupt the way agencies publish content and manage their websites.
But the govCMS project is more than just a new way for sites to manage content.
First announced in 2014, it not only represents a transformation in how agencies can rapidly roll out major technology solutions, but also in how they collaborate to create mutually beneficial systems in ways and at speeds never before seen in public service.
By partnering with an established and respected technology group in Acquia to help roll out a simplified, unified CMS for all levels of government, the Australian government has also signalled its dedication to embracing innovation from outside the traditional public agency sphere to tackle large, crucial technology problems.
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I’m all for open source and having standardisation. So why not just set up a list of preferred platforms, some design/content guidelines and a panel arrangement for services and hosting?
Acquia are charging Dep of Finance millions (that go offshore) – have a look at AusTender – and also control which ‘partners’ get thrown crumbs of work in a completely opaque way. Doesn’t seem very open to me.
An open market would be much fairer, more responsive and cheaper.
A couple of points to respond to here.
govCMS the Drupal distribution is available publicly via Drupal.org and Github. Government agencies can configure sites using their own in-house teams (as did the ATO, Australian Financial Security Authority or the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development), procure services via the govCMS program, or procure services from any provider they choose. This is the open market you refer to.
Our strong preference is to enable an in-house agency team to lead their own development so that they are left with the skills to continue to develop their sites without having to continuously go to market to procure services. Imagine a landscape where all government agencies are working with the same technology, where the govCMS program is helping coordinate their development efforts to the betterment of the whole. Imagine that technology is Open Source that will never be restricted by a commercial entity. Lofty goals, but why not actually drive change when we can?
Procuring services via the govCMS program will be serviced via Acquia and Australian-based govCMS partners. All resource is Australian-based. We’re trying to strengthen the breadth and depth of Drupal capability in Australia. We are not off-shoring.
AusTender can include some or all of the following, so its simply not a case of “development is costing millions”: cloud platform, cloud management, application support, UX research, UX and design, development by an Australian-based govCMS partner, auditing and program services.
As a development shop, you have the right to go and source and win govCMS projects. The crumbs can be as big as you want them to be.