Government recommits to open government digital procurement

Levelling the playing field

The government has confirmed its commitment to level out the competition for open source vendors bidding for public sector contracts. It recently published its mid-term review detailing its IT strategy, which included a recommitment to open government procurement.

The review said: “We will continue to open up government procurement, create a level playing field for open-source software and split large ICT projects into smaller components.”

The shift to open source software has been slow despite government commitments to the technology. These commitments have been driven by the current government, although were initiated by a Labour government. In November, all government departments agreed to implement open standards, and are now required to make sure that all IT deals follow open standards principles.

Davy Nys, European VP at open source firm, Pentaho, said: “I hope the government intends to consult with open source companies to reach actionable solutions in a reasonable time frame. Considering how much time and taxpayer’s money the UK government stands by implementing open source technology, it is in their best interest to make it happen.”

The report also promised to publish open data summaries in a way that the general public will find more meaningful, and to continue to strive towards transparency.

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