UK Government: Starts The Push For FOSS?

How’s this for an interesting statement from our beloved Government:

The Government considers that in order to deliver its key objectives a programme of positive action is now needed to ensure that there is an effective ‘level playing field’ between open source and proprietary software and to realise the potential contribution open source software can make to wider aims of re–use and open standards. This programme needs to consist both of a more detailed statement of policies and of practical actions by government and its suppliers. The key objectives will be to:

* ensure that the Government adopts open standards and uses these to communicate with the citizens and businesses that have adopted open source solutions
* ensure that open source solutions are considered properly and, where they deliver best value for money (taking into account other advantages, such as re–use and flexibility) are selected for Government business solutions.
* strengthen the skills, experience and capabilities within Government and in its suppliers to use open source to greatest advantage.
* embed an ‘open source’ culture of sharing, re–use and collaborative development across Government and its suppliers, building on the re–use policies and processes already agreed within the CIO Council, and in doing so seek to stimulate innovation, reduce cost and risk, and improve speed to market.
* ensure that there are no procedural barriers to the adoption of open source products within government, paying particular regard to the different business models and supply chain relationships involved.
* ensure that systems integrators and proprietary software suppliers demonstrate the same flexibility and ability to re–use their solutions and products as is inherent in open source.

Whoa! This comes from the Chief Information Office Council. Yes, the Government is so big they can’t have just one CIO like even the biggest Enterprise, they have to have a whole council of them 😉

You can download the whole Action Plan in PDF form from here.

If you write about FOSS and Government, you can use this tag #ukgovOSS to get it picked up and syndicated on a special public FOSS Aggregation page.

Well, I’m quite encouraged. I need to read it more thoroughly but there’s some very encouraging words in this “plan”.

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