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UK government publishes open source toolkit

Cabinet Office logoIn the past we have been somewhat critical (with the aim of encouraging a bit more action, we hope. Ed.) of the UK government’s attitude to and adoption of open source (news passim). However, today we’d like to draw attention to (and applaud) some work done recently by the Cabinet Office.

Tools to help the UK public sector procure and deploy open source were published by the Cabinet Office two days ago. The toolkit is part of the Cabinet Office’s ICT strategy to “create a level playing field for the use of innovative ICT solutions”.

The toolkit comprises the following documents:

  • All About Open Source – including FAQs
  • ICT Advice Note – Procurement of Open Source
  • Procurement Policy Note on Open Source
  • OSS Options
  • CESG Guidance on Open Source (this site will only open if for those who have previously registered with a email address)
  • Total Cost of Ownership

The toolkit also aims to dispel “myths associated with open source” and is intended for people who need to consider, evaluate or procure open source solutions, as well as anyone just wanting to know more about open source.

We’re also pleased to note that some of the documents are also published in Open Document Format (is this another government first? Ed.). In addition, we note with satisfaction that the Open Source Options document, which gives advice on open source alternatives to proprietary software features sections in which there are no proprietary equivalents; one example of this is Moodle, the virtual learning environment.

We shall continue to watch open source developments in the public sector with interest. After all, we’ve been telling them for the last 10 years that it’s the way to go! 🙂