Feeds

UK govt seeks to embrace open source software

Not as pro-Linux as it sounds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The UK government has published the first draft of its proposed policy on the use of open source software and is seeking comments from the public.

The policy essentially seeks to increase the use of open source software at all levels of government and public sector IT provision. Behind this broader acceptance of open source solutions lies a desire to ensure interoperability and the support of open standards and specifications.

The government is also concerned by the security problems. "Security of government systems is vital," says the draft policy. "Properly configured open source software can be at least as secure as proprietary systems, and open source software is currently subject to fewer Internet attacks."

The formulation of the policy was driven by the European Union's eEurope – An Information Society for all strategy, which centred on plan that "during 2001 the European Commission and Member States will promote the use of open source software in the public sector and e-government".

The British government has also come to realise that open source software is the "the start of a fundamental change in the software infrastructure marketplace, but it is not a hype bubble that will burst".

But should open source supporters see all this as a thumbs-up for Linux and other software whose code is made freely available, the policy doesn't seek to implement open source instead of proprietary solutions - Bill G is too close to the Hair Blair Bunch for that.

Yes, the "UK Government will seek to avoid lock-in to proprietary IT products and services", but the bottom line here is... well... the bottom line. The increased used of open source solutions will come about because they're cheaper than closed source software. As the draft policy document itself puts it: "[The] UK government will consider open source solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements. Contracts will be awarded on a value for money basis... Decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis." (our italics)

The only sector in which open source is to be offered as the de facto solution is academic research, where the government will "explore further the possibilities of using open source as the default exploitation route for government-funded R&D software".

During the consultation period, the government will update its Procurement Guidelines to reflect the broader acceptance of open source software and help procurers assess the benefits of open source solutions against proprietary alternatives.

Given the government's poor record on working with anyone who doesn't use Microsoft product (see MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers), it sounds like its IT buyers definitely do need some help here. ®

Related Stories

UK closer to switching 500,000 desktops from MS Office?
MS uk.gov deal wobbles as spin doctors seek revenge
UK govt new encryption system only works with MS kit
e-Envoy's office defends Windows-only portal - climb down begins?
MS-built UK 'Government Gateway' locks out non-MS browsers
MS promotes Linux from threat to 'the' threat - Memo

Related Link

The draft policy on the use of open souce software within UK government can be found here

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.