news Funnelback has renewed its long-running contract with the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) to provide whole of government search services. A blog post last week by Marcel Gabriel, acting Assistant Secretary at AGIMO’s Online Services Branch, disclosed that work had been finalised on arrangements providing for the search service.
Funnelback is a local search specialist and a spin-off of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The contract has an initial term of three years, with a provision for extension by AGIMO for three additional one-year periods. The Government Search Services enables users to find information on public-facing government websites utilising keywords and various refinements to search patterns.
The service is managed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation of AGIMO, the central IT decision-making body for the Australian Government. Any Australian Government agency can use the search service, which performs the following functions:
- Web search
- Harvesting and indexing
- Administration and maintenance
- Subscriptions to search results (email/RSS updates)
AGIMO described the contract for the provision of government search services in May 2011 in the Request for Tender (RFT). Funnelback has been involved with the federal Government’s main online portal and its other websites since January 2004; it had won the formal tender process starting in September 2007 to provide search services until 2009.
The Government Search Service crawls and indexes each Australian Government website every weeknight to keep updating content accessible for search by Australian citizens. According to the contract, Funnelback will be in charge of the procurement, development and functioning of the service; the Department of Finance and user agencies will take up only the responsibility of ensuring that the functionality of the service is accessible to users.
According to its website, Funnelback currently boasts an extensive client list with a number of big names — ranging from the Australian Government, the Queensland Government, Westpac, the Australian Stock Exchange, Oxfam and even internet telephony giant Skype.