Dept of Prime Minister and Cabinet seeks Lotus Notes replacement

Summary:The Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is seeking a replacement for its Lotus Notes-based CabNet document system.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) has gone to tender, looking to replace its 14 year-old Lotus Notes-based document system after hinting late last year that the system would need to be overhauled.

The CabNet platform is used to manage the transfer of confidential Cabinet documents between government ministers and their departments, and it runs on a dedicated secret network that is only accessible by a limited number of physically secured terminals across government agencies.

In August last year, the department was in the process of developing a business case to replace the legacy CabNet system, according to minutes from a meeting of the Secreataries' ICT Governance Board. Intermedium reported at the time that the Lotus Notes platform had been in place since 1998, and funding for the replacement system would likely be included in the 2013-2014 budget to be handed down next week.

In tender documents released yesterday, the department said that it was looking for expressions of interest to replace the CabNet system because it "does not meet reasonable expectations of a modern ICT system".

The PM&C is seeking the entire software and services to replace the CabNet system, including servers and associated hardware to integrate into the existing government networks, or an entirely managed service.

The aim, according to the tender documents, is to improve the ability for people to collaborate, develop, and oversee cabinet documents, and improve the secure access to Cabinet documents for ministers.

The tender documents state that the system should be usable on mobile devices, and be easy enough for ministers to use.

"It should be assumed that some users will have only a basic understanding of the operating environment and no other prior experience with the proposed solution. There is minimal opportunity to provide training to these users."

"Some ministers now read submissions using an iPad that has had its over-the-air-communications capability removed. The iPads connect via the 30-pin connector to get an update of submissions for the upcoming Cabinet or Cabinet committee meetings."

PM&C follows in the footsteps of the former Queensland government, which in 2011, trialled an iPad Cabinet document reader app developed by the company behind the successful Domino's Pizza app .

Topics: Government, Australia, Government : AU

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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