Some early figures are emerging from the Spending Challenge website set up by HM Treasury / Cabinet Office / No10 (and based heavily on my code). And if we take them at face value, they’re quite impressive – or depressing, depending on your point of view.
Since launch a week ago, they’ve received ‘over 26,000 ideas from public sector workers’ – including 8,000 on day one. A team based in the Cabinet Office is ‘processing over 2,000 submissions each day’, and will be ‘passing on the most workable ones to a team of ideas champions.’ That’s 26,000 possible ways of making things better; but equally, 26,000 ways public money has been squandered inefficiently managed in the past.
Helpfully, it seems that the Open Source movement has mobilised 😉 – and there’s a specific writeup on the site’s blog function on the subject:
One particular idea that’s been suggested by many of you is the use of open source software instead of potentially expensive commercial software. Most open source software is free to use, and has exactly the same capabilities as licensed software. The open source network also offers a huge online community that gives support and updates without expensive contract negotiations. Many of you are saying we should utilise the open source community much better than we do currently.
OK, so that’s probably not the pitch as an open-source purist would have written it, and it would have been nice if the site had mentioned that it was itself running on open source. But it’s a start I suppose.