Feeds

UK.gov tweaks open source policy small print

Enforce or fall on own sword, warns Ingres

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.