Government Promotes Open Source for Public Sector

February 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

I just saw an article in The Register on the creation of an Action Plan for the adoption of Open Source by the UK Government. While this action alone is impressive and inspiring (I have been trying with limited success to move the State of New York and SUNY in this direction), what is even more significant is the process through which they are developing their policy.

Included in the Action Plan is :

To help bring together the online debate around this Action Plan, we’ve set up a public page which contains links to blog posts, news stories and tweets about UK government, open source and open standards. If you write about this online, please use the tag #ukgovOSS to help us find your comment.

The approach used by the Council is completely in line with the the open source methodology of collaboration, many eye-balls, iteration, etc.

In addition to promoting the use of open source software, the new policy also emphasizes open standards and encourages the re-use of IT solutions in the public sector.

Among the 10 points of the government’s action plan are the following:

  • The CIO Council and the Office of Government Commerce will develop guidance to ensure open source will be given the same consideration as proprietary products.
  • The two bodies will also set up a program of education and capability building in the field.
  • The CIO Council will regularly assess open source products for their maturity and recommend those that meet agreed criteria.
  • It will also work with systems integrators and software suppliers to open up their solutions to meet open standards, to include open source and facilitate re-use.
  • The government will specify requirements by reference to open standards and require compliance with open standards in solutions where feasible.
  • Government purchasers will use a standard OGC approved OJEU clause to make clear that solutions are purchased on the basis that they may be re-used elsewhere in the public sector.

Something to shoot for…


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