The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has signed former CSIRO spin-off Funnelback as its provider of Government Search Services for a period of up to six years.

According to AGIMO's Assistant Secretary, Online Services Branch, Marcel Gabriel, the service will continue to allow the public to better locate information on public-facing government websites -- the existing AGIMO portal has used FunnelBack search since 2004.

"Funnelback will be responsible for the procurement, development and operation of the service; Finance and the user Agencies will only be responsible for making the functionality of the Service available to users," a blog entry by Gabriel on AGIMO's site reads.

According to Gabriel the search service includes harvesting and indexing; Web search; subscriptions to search results via email or RSS updates; and administration and maintenance capabilities.

The managed search service is being administered by AGIMO, but is available for use by any Australian Government agency.

Funnelback was selected following a tender process initiated by AGIMO in May. The Austender website suggests the deal is worth some $3,816,172 over the course of the contract.

CSIRO sold its Funnelback search engine technology business to open source content management company Squiz in July 2009.

Funnelback was developed by CSIRO and the Australian National University, originally under the name of [email protected]. Funnelback's flagship product, Funnelback Enterprise, is a search solution that searches content across Internet, intranet, database and shared network drives, as well as electronic document management and portal systems.

As at September 2009 it was used by the Australian Securities Exchange, Oxfam, Westpac, the ABC and Australian state and federal government departments.

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