Drupal cloud to unite Australian government web

Upwards of 1200 websites published by Australian Commonwealth Government agencies could be heading down the road of a Drupal-based shared Web platform beginning in September 2014, according to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Government Content Management System – with the working title of GovCMS.

Under the proposal, the large number of differing platforms used to deliver public-facing services by Australian Commonwealth Government agencies would be replaced with a single Software-as-a-Service on a Public Cloud, using Open Source Drupal software.

The Department of Finance has published a Statement of requirements and Vendor Questions and is seeking feedback until Wednesday May 21, 2014.

“Many of the sites are static, with limited complexity and consume significant resources from either the internal IT department, or through an external hosted arrangement. Many websites also use commercially licensed software, which incur annual maintenance costs to keep up to date. The website survey, and interviews conducted through the feasibility study found that many small agencies do not have the resources to ensure that Commonwealth website standards around security accreditation and accessibility obligations are maintained,” the report states.

It speculates that from 182 to 437 web sites could be migrated onto the GovCMS platform over the next four years.

Sharing code, modules and applications between agencies is expected to reduce development costs, and will develop modules that suit the needs of APS agencies. We expect all code and modules developed for use in the open source platform would be made freely available for all Government agencies (and the wider open source community) to freely utilise modules developed for the chosen open source platform.”

The Department of Finance plans to migrate Australia.gov.au (10,000 pages) and Finance.gov.au (3000 pages) to the GovCMS platform as the initial websites on GovCMS. Following this, it will be made available to other Commonwealth Government agencies to migrate their websites.