Editor’s note: I received this e-mail just now about the public consultation the City of Hamilton has done regarding the city website and am re-producing it here. I’m assuming it’s OK to share it publicly since it’s about a public consultation process and the content is relevant to the local development community…
Hello, Iâ€™m writing to you as a participant in the City of Hamiltonâ€™s public consultation activity that took place on April 29th, facilitated by IBM.Â The public consultation was part of a Web Technology Assessment that the City undertook, prior to making significant investments in new web technology. At that meeting there was a commitment that when this phase of the Cityâ€™s work was completed, that we would share information with you.
I would like to provide you with an update on the results of this assessment, so that you are aware of how your feedback has contributed to the project.Â City Staff presented the public consultation feedback to the Web Redevelopment Sub-Committee of Council in May.Â IBM submitted a final report with recommendations to the City at the end of June.Â City Staff have reviewed those recommendations and made final decisions related to the adoption of web technology for the Cityâ€™s new website â€“ specifically the web technology (CMS) platform, hosting model and development framework.
The City heard clearly from the participants in the consultation that there is a strong desire to see the City adopt an open source software solution for the Cityâ€™s new web platform.Â Further, there was a strong desire to see the City adopt an open collaboration model, with codebases developed by the City made available back out into the community under an open source license â€“ provided that there are assurances that the Cityâ€™s network security and citizensâ€™ privacy are fully protected.
We are pleased to share with you that the City has made a decision to adopt the open source platform Drupal 7 for the Cityâ€™s future website.Â Drupal 7 is being used extensively by governments of all levels throughout North America, including the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and many municipalities.
In addition, IBM has recommended that the City participate in the Web Experience Toolkit (WET) collaboration, facilitated by the Treasury Board of Canada.Â This collaboration is fully open, and includes a Github resource, with open codebases that are validated as usable and accessible, which are important criteria for the City of Hamilton.Â The City will be assessing the feasibility of leveraging and contributing to this open source collaboration framework, which is also open to members of the local development community who wish to participate.
Further recommendations were made by IBM to the City and after deliberation, the City has accepted a number of those recommendations.Â See the attached Executive Summary detailing the recommendations provided by IBM. Also attached is an Information Update that was provided to members of Council, detailing the process followed during the assessment and decisions made.Â The one area you will note in our information update where staff differed with IBM is the hosting model.Â Although staff agree with IBMâ€™s rationale for recommending an in-house hosting model, staff have recommended that the production website initially be hosted externally in order to provide a stable platform during the redevelopment, while staff in IT acquire the necessary familiarity and skill with supporting the new environment.
The City is excited by the opportunity to use open source software for its web platform.Â In addition, Staff are eager to participate in open collaborations with the local development community as well as with others from around the globe.Â We hope that these decisions will also please members of the development community who have asked the City to adopt an open strategy for the website redevelopment.
As the Web Technology Assessment is now complete and Staff have confirmed the general feasibility of the recommended model, the City will be commencing the procurement process this summer and early fall to implement the new platform, hosting and development.Â If you wish to be notified of future bid opportunities related to the City’s website, please register through the Cityâ€™s procurement service, Biddingo.Â By registering, you will be notified of all bid opportunities within your chosen categories.Â In order to register, visit www.hamilton.ca/Procurement/VendorRegistrationForm and follow the instructions.Â Registration is free.Â Please contact Angela Mastandrea at Angela.Mastandrea@hamilton.ca if you have questions regarding our procurement process.Â Please note that we expect initial bid opportunities will commence before the end of August, 2013.
If you have any questions or comments related to the Cityâ€™s web redevelopment project, or the information above, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Service Delivery Experience Advisor
City of Hamilton
905-546-2424 ext. 2221