UK government

UK government continues strong focus on open standards

open document format standards

A great deal of excitement has been generated by UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude's forceful announcement in late January that the UK government intends to mandate the adoption of compulsory document format standards in public administrations.

In the on-going struggle of policy makers seeking to break away from procurement practices that have led to proprietary lock-in, limited interoperability, and excessive costs, the UK government has signaled that they fully intend to level the playing field not by mandating a preference for free or re-used software as in Italy and France, but by mandating choice through the requirement of open standard document formats (not just .odf, but other open document standards too) in procurement. » Read more

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UK teachers are free to choose open source curriculum

UK teachers are free to choose open source curriculum

The UK Department of Education has confirmed that information and communications technology (ICT) lessons that teach children how to use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint will soon be more open.

Starting September 2012, computer teachers will be given “the freedom and flexibility to design an ICT curriculum that is best for their pupils,” says Michael Gove, Department of Education secretary. This means teachers can change the curriculum to teach open source if they prefer. » Read more

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Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government's commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors.

Open source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on "free as in gratis." Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values offered by open source, which are derived from "free as in freedom." » Read more

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Two countries, separated by a common IT market

Two countries, separated by a common IT market

The UK Cabinet Office has made no secret of its enthusiasm for open source software. They've provided a Government Action Plan, included open source in their ICT Strategy, and even provided an Open Source Procurement Toolkit for government buyers. They see the same benefits as their US counterparts: a more competitive software market, more innovation, more interagency collaboration, fewer silos, better security, and more opportunities for domestic software development firms. The UK, however, hasn't yet seen the kind of open source adoption we have in the United States despite similar challenges and similar market conditions. » Read more

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