GDS rolls out Drupal

The Government Digital Service is rolling out open source content management system Drupal.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is rolling out open source content management system Drupal, according to one of its suppliers.

GDS is also looking at integrating a Drupal function that will allow it to spin out new government sites quickly and at low cost rather than building them from scratch, said Mark Taylor CEO of open source company Sirius.

Sirius has been working with GDS in an advisory and training capacity around Drupal implementation for the last three months.

“Government has being paying an infeasible amount to build websites for too long, when open source products such as Drupal cost substantially less,” he said.

Drupal is becoming an increasingly popular with governments around the world, with the Whitehouse also using the open source product.  

GDS is also using a variety of other open source products such as Apache Lucene and Apache Solr. Taylor added open source products were also ideal for gluing clunky legacy systems together.

Mark O'Neill, head of innovation and delivery at GDS, said: "At GDS we are committed to delivering rapid, robust and cost-effective solutions."

Taylor praised GDS’ approach to IT as being “entirely different” from the rest of government. But he said GDS should broaden its ecosystem of SMEs further, as the body still relies heavily on its in-house work.

“Government needs to get the balance right and have enough internal capability, which it hasn’t in the past, while still generating an ecosystem of SMEs,” he said.

Taylor has been an outspoken critic of other areas of government, including the CloudStore having been built on a proprietary platform. However, he said Sirius was now one of the suppliers bidding to be on the next G-Cloud framework.

GDS is using a range of open source products as part of its GOV.UK website, and has published more details on its blog, here.

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I'm not sure if this is meant to be misleading, but one gets the idea from the tone and screenshot that (the main GDS deliverable to date) uses Drupal. It does not.

GDS does its work in public: ...and there's no Drupal anywhere in sight. As though that weren't enough, GDS has taken the exact opposite approach to using something like Drupal: instead of a management system that orchestrates the entire content process, they have built many small daemons and products that work together in concert to deliver final services. It's not PHP, it's not Drupal, and it's not a CMS as you might otherwise understand it. But it is Open Source, meaning all of this could have been discovered by the author.

Perhaps some more detail is in order to clarify what, exactly, Sirius is being contracted for? It certainly doesn't seem to be


I agree with Alex, this blog post is extremely misleading as best, but mostly filled with factual inaccuracies and quotes out of context. Drupal is not used on, and this post sounds like it was commissioned by Sirius to raise their profile.


Thanks for your comments. Of course I will look into this and make any necessary changes to the piece. There certainly was no intention to mislead.


The last paragraph still fails to mention that Drupal is not in use by and the photo continues to mislead by association. Dropping all references to gov.UK would have deftly sidestepped the confusion. One wonders why the author didn't opt for that in the first place.