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Even Malta leaves UKgov behind when it comes to open source use

Last week Mark Turner, CEO of Sirius IT and the lead for the Cabinet Office’s ‘New Suppliers to Government’ Workgroup expressed his frustration with the slow pace of implementing changes to the UK Government’s IT and embracing more open source (allegedly to go along with open standards and open data. Ed.) as follows via Twitter:

To be clear #ukgovit is procuring the same way it always has, from the same people it always does, even after 1.5 years of new rhetoric…

It now appears that the UK Government’s glacial pace of change is being outstripped by the likes of err,…….. Malta!

OSOR reports that the number of open source applications installed by default on public sector desktop PCs in Malta increased by 47% between December 2009 and May 2011, according Michel Bugeja, enterprise architect at Malta’s Information Technology Agency (MITA). “The biggest increase is on tools to handle PDFs, for creating diagrams, for mind mapping and for project management.”

The agency maintains a list of applications, both open source and proprietary, that it evaluates for use by governments. The most recent open source applications it added are Open Office (office productivity suite) Dia (diagram drawing) Gimp (image editing) and Openproj (project management).

MITA is assisting other government agencies with its research on open source tools and business models. Recent studies include Postgresql(database management system), Sugarcrm (customer relationship management) and Openfire (instant messaging server).


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