Feeds

UK.gov tweaks open source policy small print

Enforce or fall on own sword, warns Ingres

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The UK government has rejigged its open source and open standards software procurement policy, following pressure from OSS vendors last autumn.

Early last year the Cabinet Office revised its rules on public sector open source software purchases, but many OSS players complained that the policy amendments didn’t go far enough.

Others grumbled that the government was failing to police its own rules.

The government published the latest revision to its policy (PDF) today, after it brought in new measures to promote open standards and encourage the reuse of software on 25 February 2009.

Measures outlined in the strategy - which took five years to be overhauled - included an education programme, guidance on procurement from the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council, headed up by John Suffolk, and assessment of new products. It also aimed to spotlight open standards by ensuring systems were interoperable and avoided product lock-in.

Come last September, some OSS vendors - including Ingres, Red Hat and Alfresco - complained that a lack of enforcement effectively nullified the government’s own rules, thereby making OSS and open standard procurements a rarity rather than the rule. The government hopes that today’s rejig of the “action plan” addresses some of those grumbles.

Cabinet Office minister Angela Smith penned a foreword to the revised paper, which appears to openly attack multinational software makers such as Microsoft and Oracle.

“When Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, he fought to keep it free for everyone. Since then, not everyone in ICT has displayed quite the same philanthropic spirit and a small number of global organisations dominate,” she said.

“But over the past few years, the people have begun to fight back. Individuals, working together over the internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations. The age of Open Source is dawning and Government has embraced it, becoming more innovative, agile and cost-effective.”

The Cabinet Office said that the amendments to the policy didn't represent a "wholesale change" to its February 2009 rules.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.