News has just arrived via the Free Software Foundation blog that a joint statement has been issued by a group of UK open standards experts. The statement is as follows:
At a meeting yesterday, hosted by the British Computer Society’s Open Source Specialists Group, We the Undersigned called upon the Government to do the following:
- Not do anything which will result in the imposition in a stealth tax upon citizens, for example by requiring them to purchase specific products for interacting with online public services;
- Ensure that anybody and everybody be able to participate in public sector procurement, regardless of their businesses model;
- Leverage truly open innovative technologies to achieve long term savings.
Commitment to these points is critical if The Government is to achieve its stated aims of a more competitive and diverse market for public contracts, reduction of barriers to participation in public sector IT affecting small and medium size enterprises, and realisation of the potential benefits of its existing Open Data strategy.
We believe that it is important that The Government moves quickly from setting Open Standards policy to practically implementing it, and we look forward to participating in the next steps of this process.
Howard Thomson, Martin Houston, Free and Libre Open Source Software UK,
Sam Tuke, Free Software Foundation Europe,
Graham Taylor, Open Forum Europe,
Gerry Gavigan, Open Source Consortium
If you still wish to respond to the Cabinet Office consultation, you have until 1st May.