Agencies deal directly with the Common Web Platform service provider - SilverStripe.

Internal Affairs, as functional lead for government ICT, is the lead agency for the Common Web Platform (CWP). SilverStripe is contracted to Internal Affairs as the CWP service provider. This contract is called the Lead Agency Agreement. Other agencies who wish to use CWP sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Internal Affairs. They then sign a Participating Agency Agreement with SilverStripe, agreeing with the services in the Lead Agency Contract.

For information about how to sign up to the CWP, contact online@dia.govt.nz.

Who designs and build websites on CWP?

CWP provides a platform for websites. Each agency selects their web design and development providers. These might an agency’s current suppliers, internal staff or vendors selected from the Common Web Services Panel (external link) . SilverStripe can offer training, enhancements to the platform, and mentoring to developers as a professional service under the CWP contract.

How will CWP improve over time?

The monthly fee for using CWP, includes activities to actively develop the product. The first is the co-funded development pool, where for each instance hours are contributed each month. The development pool is managed by the DIA product manager with input from agencies using the platform, and serves to continually improve the features and services offered by CWP.

The system also includes an online code repository tool that allows sharing and reuse of code between agencies. The DIA product manager keeps abreast of developments made by agencies, then communicates these so that other agencies are aware of the opportunities the reuse system presents.

The operational review board

The board is a forum for discussing operational issues and product development opportunities. The agencies help the DIA product manager prioritise improvements funded under the co-funded development pool. Each participating agency appoints a relationship manager who is invited to attend the meeting. Other web and technical advisors will be invited as needed, to help decide on development options. One of the agency relationship managers is elected as the chair.

The DIA product manager sets up an operational review meeting every three months.

The CWP steering group

The steering group is made up of representatives from DIA, SilverStripe and Revera. It is the governing body for CWP and ensures that the Lead Agency Agreement is being implemented properly. Any changes to the agreement need to be agreed by the steering group.

The steering group will also review the pricing. The costs for lead agency management and infrastructure may reduce over time, due to economies of scales. Changing the features and services offered could increase or reduce costs.

What are the costs for the platform?

The cost model and pricing for the Common Web Platform is agreed in the Lead Agency Agreement. This information can be provided to agencies on request. Agencies are charged a monthly fee for the services they use. Fees are pro-rated, so if you only use a service for 10 days in a month you pay one third the fee. Setup fees apply when setting up instances however there is no cost to sign up to the platform.

The monthly costs are calculated for an agency by:

The monthly fee covers SilverStripe platform management services, Revera’s Infrastructure as a Service charge, and covers DIA’s costs as the lead agency. The monthly fee includes a contribution to the co-funded development pool. Additional services requested from SilverStripe are charged at the CWP professional services hourly rate.

Can multiple websites be run on an instance? 

CWP comes with a subsite module in the basic recipe, which has the potential for agencies to spread the cost of an Instance across multiple websites. This approach is not suited to all types of websites, as sharing an instance means sharing the same codebase, database and admin access. This has implications on performance isolation, functionality and security that need to be considered. However where an agency can work within these contraints, it is possible to have multiple websites with different designs running on an instance. Where an agency has a family of websites that sit together, this approach has additional benefits such as shared content, files, federated search, single access for publishers.and one system to upgrade.  

Can two or more agencies share an instance?

Yes they can, and CWP is a great way to enable agencies to collaborate on shared information and services. Where two or more agencies choose to share an instance, they need to elect a “main” agency, who is signed up to the platform. The main agency will receive and pay the invoice.  Agencies may wish to write a Memorandum of Understanding between them.

How does invoicing work?

SilverStripe will send a single monthly invoice to agencies. The invoice will be itemised so that an agency can attribute costs to multiple business units. The invoice will include service credits if a service level has not been met.

Agencies will not receive invoices from DIA or Revera for their use of the platform.

Is the agency still responsible for security and testing?

Yes, agencies control the code that goes on their websites, so they need to test prior to releasing code. The platform has been security accredited for DIA’s use. This means that DIA is comfortable with the security controls in place, and accepts the residual risks. All systems carry risk, and each agency needs to understand and accept them. DIA cannot accept these risks on their behalf. DIA will make all the security documentation available to other agencies, so that they can accredit CWP for their own use. 

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