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Bristol City Council & Computacenter – more details emerge

Bristol City Council logoYesterday we reported on the troubled history of Bristol City Council’s troubled efforts to implement its open source strategy with the ‘assistance’ of Computacenter, one of the country’s largest suppliers of proprietary Microsoft products (news passim).

Today Mark Ballard of Computer Weekly has published a new post on the affair, which highlights, inter alia, the shabby treatment by Computacenter of Sirius, one of the UK’s leading open source suppliers, as well as providing details of events preceding the involvement of Computacenter.

The post opens with some damning statements, as follows:

Bristol City Council’s failure to deliver on its open source strategy is beginning to make the coalition government’s manifesto commitment on open source look incontinent.

The council’s own open source strategy is looking ineffectual. Bristol Council cabinet committed to an open source infrastructure a year ago – as long as it was doable. It ordered a pilot but that was discredited by an allegation that it had been fixed. Now the council has refused to release the suspect pilot reports under Freedom of Information, it is time to look at those allegations in full.

Mark Taylor, CEO of Sirius, told MPs in May how, left to establishment suppliers Capgemini and Computacenter, the open source strategy got caught in a thicket of indifference and vested interests.

We recommend you read the post in full to find out how the major IT suppliers to the public sector fix things to ensure the cash you pay in local and central government taxes end up in their pockets and Microsoft’s coffers in spite of the existence of cheaper, equivalent (or better! Ed.) open source alternatives.


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