Release of the beta govCMS website

John Sheridan - CIO & CISO
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Today I presented at the Acquia Australian Government Digital Strategy Roundtable where I spoke about govCMS in the context of Australian Government policy. I covered some of the many benefits govCMS will offer for entities, whole of government and most importantly, the user looking for government information. Benefits including significant time and cost savings, re-use, and the provision of high quality websites designed for the user.

During the event I launched the govCMS beta website which provides information about the govCMS product and service including a virtual preview of the govCMS offering. This site will evolve leading up to the release of a full production site to be launched with the official opening of govCMS in February 2015. 

During the event today there was interest in the status of the govCMS preparations which I’m happy to share in this blog post. The govCMS team is working with Acquia and their partners to develop the govCMS distribution, develop a range of web compliant templates and themes for sites including corporate, minister and campaign sites, a range of pricing plans to provide entities with the best value for money to meet their particular requirements, and the Memorandum of Understanding which will be the mechanism used to provision govCMS to entities. Work is also underway with a number of websites due to transition to govCMS before the official opening. is one example of a website that has already migrated to the govCMS hosting environment. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) will be the first external agency to adopt govCMS. ASADA is leveraging the full govCMS offering including a re-design of their existing site to improve user experience before on-boarding to govCMS. The ASADA site will go live in early 2015.

The Department of Finance in partnership with Acquia and Previous Next is also pleased to be supporting the Drupal Global Training Days being held around the world on Friday, 14 November by offering free govCMS training in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

Comments (4)

I see there have been a few people who questioned the use of Drupal. It seems to me that all the major CMSs have their strengths and weaknesses. In that regard Drupal is not different, it does have a relatively steep learning curve.

However, I suspect many of those who doubt Drupal's suitability don't have much first hand experience with Drupal. It is a very flexible and extensible CMS.

This is a good step forward for the Government. A lot of government website designs are clunky and overoptimised for the minority with no consistency.

it's good idea for me

Following the recent launch of the beta govCMS website and my presentation at the Acquia Australian Government Digital Strategy Roundtable on 11 November, I have received several queries about aspects of the govCMS product and service offering.  In the interest of transparency I’m sharing the responses to these questions through the blog. 

1) Will individual agency work orders for govCMS be reported separately on AusTender?

Agency work orders for govCMS will be reported on Austender as part of the Department of Finance contract with Acquia.

2) How much is the Department of Finance saving on hosting for since transferring to govCMS?

The Department of Finance is saving 45% for the hardware and technical support associated with hosting on govCMS. 

3) Can govCMS offer customisation, for example, can it remember I always want to see the site in Greek?

Drupal is capable of both customisation and personalisation.  However we have not yet implemented customisation options into the design of  We are conducting a design review using where research into how we may use concepts such as customisation and personalisation will be explored.

4) What is the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) using for their existing website?

ASADA do not have an existing Content Management System.  They use Dreamweaver.

As always, the govCMS Team are happy to answer any questions you have about govCMS.  

Last updated: 30 August 2016