8 October 2021
Paul Morriss

The Drupal Services Panel (DSP)

The Drupal Services Panel was established in 2017 to help Australian government agencies procure development partners to manage and support their Drupal-based websites.  

The initial DSP expired on 30 June 2021. The Department of Finance established a new whole-of-government GovCMS DSP, which is envisaged to run to 30 June 2024.  Suppliers of the initial DPS, such as Salsa, were required to submit a new tender response to qualify for the new panel.

Salsa’s new panel application

Unfortunately, Salsa did not fully comply with the application for the new panel. In the spirit of transparency, Salsa’s application omitted a mandatory requirement , a statement of tax record.  This omission was an accidental oversight. We wrongly assumed detailed financial records, those used for the purpose of tax reconciliation, were sufficient to fulfil the requirement.  While the original panel submission did allow detailed financial records to be used in the absence of an ATO-approved statement of tax record, the new panel submission considered the absence of such record as a non-compliant response.

Consequently, and sadly, Salsa Digital is not part of the new and current DSP.  And we have no means to offer new services from the DSP moving forward until the next round in 2024.

It was a really silly mistake, which we regret.

It is worth noting this has not affected our relationship with GovCMS as their official platform service provider.

Implications for new DSP contracts

Salsa Digital can’t provide DSP services to agencies because we’re no longer on the DSP.  Agencies can however use other suppliers on the panel or procure Salsa’s services by other methods.

Other Salsa service procurement

Salsa is on a range of state and federal procurement panels

The DTA Digital Marketplace

The DTA’s Digital Marketplace covers a range of digital deliverables including digital services.  We’ve been on this panel since its inception, and have signed up to the Master Service Agreement (MSA) to streamline the contracting process. All government agencies (federal, state and local) can access this marketplace.  Agencies may procure Salsa services using the DTA’s Digital Marketplace.

State panels

We're also on a range of state panels:

The Creative and Digital Communication Panel 

The Creative and Digital Communication Panel covers everything from graphic design and web apps to editorial services. This federal panel can be used by all Australian Government agencies and is set up as a Standing Offer. We’ve been on this panel since 2015.

Direct approach

Another method of procuring Salsa services is direct procurement.  Under this model the agency contracts Salsa directly for services usually under the terms of a statement of work.  

The Department of Finance has also made direct procurement simpler for agencies with their official Commonwealth Contracting Suite (CCS) online tool. The CCS is an interactive suite of forms designed to assist Commonwealth Government procurement agencies prepare documentation and streamline the procurement process. The suite will walk through steps to prepare final contract documentation inline with government procurement policy.  View CSS FAQs

If considering direct procurement please ensure to consult with your relevant state/territory procurement rules and guidelines and relevant procurement team to determine if a direct approach is appropriate. 

Salsa’s GovCMS community pledge

While Salsa is deeply remorseful that we can’t provide services to agencies via the new DSP, we’re committed to helping the GovCMS community.  As such, Salsa provides a giveback to DoF/GovCMS for any GovCMS work we execute that’s sourced from procurements other than the GovCMS DSP.  

What this means exactly, Salsa will commit to giving back 3% of any project hours of a GovCMS project to benefit the GovCMS community. Salsa will offer professional service hours to DoF/GovCMS directly to further develop the GovCMS product to benefit all agencies using GovCMS.

In making this pledge Salsa will be transparent with the source agency and GovCMS on how these hours are invested by maintaining a giveback register on our Salsa website. The giveback register is a record of the contribution made by Salsa on behalf of the GovCMS community, attributed to our agency client. 

Note that our existing 20% GovCMS community open source giveback pledge also remains.  As part of our commitment to open government and open source, Salsa offers 20% credit for any new and/or enhanced features (e.g. modules or themes) that we build for your agency and contribute back to the GovCMS community.  More about giveback pledge 

Salsa Digital’s take

We take full responsibility for submitting a non-compliant DSP renewal submission.  It’s with regret that we direct agencies to other procurement methods to engage Salsa services. While disappointed in the outcome (and yes, we explored many options to have the decision reconsidered including the provision, subsequently, of a valid statement of tax record) Salsa is committed to helping government agencies and giving back to the GovCMS community.  Our GovCMS community pledge is a practical commitment to contributing back to the GovCMS community.

If you have any questions about Salsa giveback or commitment to the GovCMS community, or how to engage with Salsa to procure our services, please contact us on 03 9910 4040 or email