Parliament house to replace ParlInfo content system

All types of software will be considered

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS), the federal government agency that provides Parliament House's information management services will replace its ten-year-old document management system, ParlInfo, with a more modern application.

ParlInfo houses over one million documents relating to the work of the Australian Parliament.

In a request for tender, the DPS requires an "innovative and user friendly" enterprise software solution to support the authoring, collection, management, retrieval and presentation of parliamentary information.

The information required to be managed and made accessible through ParlInfo includes the Hansard, records of the work of the Parliament, material relating to the operation of the parliament, and also databases which support the work of parliamentarians.

Users of the software and parliamentary information include the parliamentary staff, government agencies, other parliaments, and the public.

A tender contract for new software is expected to be signed by the end of August with a solution in place by early next year.

The DPS has released a list of requirements for the replacement system, including a "highly configurable" Web-based interface that allows users to conduct simple searching, advanced searching, and browsing of repositories to retrieve results.

The ParlInfo replacement, which may have a new name, must also allow users to publish search results and text-based and non-text based documents and files.

For interoperability, the new system must be compatible with the new Bills system, which is running in parallel with this project, and the parliamentary computing network.

Parliamentary Librarian Roxanne Missingham told Computerworld the existing ParlInfo is a combination of commercial and in-house developed software.

"There is no specific budget for the cost of implementing the new system [so] we are seeking the best value for money solution," Missingham said. "We are not restricted to a specific technical solution and are open to bids which include proprietary and open source software."

The DPS plans to do a phased implementation of the new software.

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