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WofG ICT awards recognises govCMS

by Justin Hendry •
Free resource

The platform responsible for transforming the web output of 30 federal agencies has been named a finalist in the 2016 Australian Government ICT Awards for Excellence in Service Delivery.

govCMS – the whole-of-government (WofG) web hosting and content management service (CMS) –  is one of three finalists in the running to take out the award for the service delivery component of the award, as well as the Overall Excellence in eGovernment Award. The other service delivery finalists include the Australian Taxation Office for its voice authentication project and the New South Wales Electoral Commission for iVote at the 2015 state election.

The Drupal-based solution, which is supported by Acquia with Amazon Web Services providing the public cloud platform, has so far exceeded the federal government’s expectations, with double the number of agencies moving to the platform than initially estimated.

“Government agencies have launched govCMS sites on a pace of more than one per week since the Department of Finance officially launched govCMS last March, doubling the estimates for first-year adoption outlined in an earlier Department of Finance commissioned study,” says an Acquia statement.

Eight govCMS websites, including IP Australia and the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), have gone live since the introduction of the ‘Government as an API’ service for digital content in early February, bringing the total to 59. Another 15 sites are currently in development.

Finance, Department of Social Services, Department of Education & Training and the Department of Employment – four of the 30 agencies that are supported by govCMS – now account for more than half the websites.

The shift to govCMS continues despite the possibility that the federal government’s new portal – GOV.AU – will combine 1500 separate federal government websites to address the inconsistent delivery of information and services to citizens.

While the DTO is yet to select a CMS for GOV.AU, former Chief Information Officer at the Department of Premier and Cabinet turned DTO deputy head of GOV.AU, Radi Kovacevic, has raised the possibility of using other solutions in addition to govCMS.

“We are working on the technology solution [for GOV.AU] and we don’t have an answer. We know that govCMS will be part of that, but it is not the entirety of the solution,” he told a GOV.AU Q&A event in early March.

The $24 million Deed of Standing Offer with Acquia for a WofG Content Management System depends on subscription take-up across government. Currently Finance has signed 53 contracts with Acquia, worth a total of $6.9 million, since the offer was awarded in September 2014, according to Intermedium’s Analyse IT tool.

The Department of Communications and the Arts has already begun moving content to GOV.AU, 10 months after launching their govCMS site. The two existing sites that underpin the department will continue to operate while the beta version of GOV.AU is developed.

Service delivery is one of five categories in the Excellence in eGovernment Awards stream, which also includes applications development, geospatial, government 2.0, and project and program management.

The full list of finalists can be found here.

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