It’s good to see the coordinated publication of departments’ responses to the Programme For Government exercise – including the Cabinet Office’s reponse on government transparency, which also covered the use of open source software:
We are committed to the use of open standards and recognise that open source software offers government the opportunity of lower procurement prices, increased interoperability and easier integration. The use of open standards can also provide freedom from vendor lock in. In September 2010, we will publish Guidance for Procurers. This guidance will ensure that new IT procurements conducted by Government, evaluate both open source and proprietary software solutions, and select the option offering best value for money.
Nothing much to get excited about, to be honest. I suppose it’s nice to see an acknowledgement of ‘the opportunity’ of achieving benefits. But it’s a little disappointing that it should close with a flat statement about evaluating both proprietary and open-source on ‘best value for money’ grounds alone – which leaves us right back where we started. I note there’s no reference the Maude statement, back in June, about departmental websites using open source ‘whenever possible’.