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UK: Government Opens Door to Open Source
Source: publictechnology.net
Source Date: Monday, September 20, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Europe
Created: Sep 20, 2010

The government has made a major commitment to open source, saying that it will recommend buyers choose that over purchasing proprietary software.

The news came in a written Parliamentary answer, with Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announcing that even where there are no significant overall cost differences between open and proprietary products, open source should be the favoured option "on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility".

But the decision hasn't been accompanied by any massive commitment to massive cost savings in government ICT outlay as the Conservative leader noted that it is it difficult for his team to assess the possible savings from using open source software as it is only one element in the overall solution.

Pre-election Maude's party seemed less than convinced of the benefits of open source, but now the theme is firmly that, "Procurement decisions will be made on the basis of the best value for money solution to the business requirement, taking account of total cost of ownership of the solution."

The news came at the end of a week where the first signs of post-October supplier-central government contractual and business dealings seem to be being roughly outlined, with the emphasis on cost-curbing and project restraint.

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