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FCW Insider: U.K. gets serious about open source

Here’s a point of interest for federal agencies still mulling the role of open-source software.

The U.K., which first adopted a formal policy encouraging the use of open source back in 2004, has updated its policy and developed an action plan for encouraging even broader adoption by government agencies.

The new policy makes clear that open-source software-based solutions, where appropriate, will have an edge in procurements: "Where there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products, open source will be selected on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility."

As part of the new policy, the government plans to develop contract language that ensures that systems developed for one agency are available for reuse by other agencies.

The U.K.'s CIO Council also is clearing away some red tape, directing agencies not to evaluate open-source solutions already approved by another agency. The council has asked all agencies to maintain and share the records of their evaluations.

An added point of interest: The U.K. has created a public page for the action plan, providing links to blog posts, news stories and tweets about the government, open source and open standards. Check it out here.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Mar 02, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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