Aust govt plans revamped Web search

The Australian government will launch a new whole of government search service across its external Web sites in January next year. The tool will replace an existing service which has been active since January 2004, according to tender documents released by the federal Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) today.

The Australian government will launch a new whole of government search service across its external Web sites in January next year.

The tool will replace an existing service which has been active since January 2004, according to tender documents released by the federal Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) today.

That tool is based on Funnelback's Panoptic search technology. The company was spun off from government research body CSIRO in February this year.

The existing solution is used on australia.gov.au, publications.gov.au and 28 other Web sites.

"Finance continually improves and reviews the services provided as part of the Government Search Service and may elect to add, remove or change the search services that form part of the Government Search Service," the documents said.

The department will pick a vendor for the new service in early December, with the solution to be launched on 24 January 2007.

The successful vendor must supply staff, hardware, software, disaster recovery, help desk support and secure Web hosting and associated infrastructure to the government.

The new search service will include the ability to retrieve search results from government Web sites, publications, media releases and other data sources.

Additionally, its feature list will include the following:

  • Customisable interface depending on online deployment location
  • "Best bet" function to automatically visit the number one search result
  • Internal reporting of data collected
  • 99.5 percent uptime
  • Results returned in less than 0.5 seconds
  • Support of Web browsers including Firefox 1.0+, Internet Explorer 5.0+, Netscape 7.0+, Opera 6.0+ and Safari 1.2+
  • Minimum World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) AA standards compliance rating