Last week, the Cabinet Office published a new action plan for government and open source, to level the playing field when it comes to procuring software.
So we consider that the time is now right to build on our record of fairness and achievement and to take further positive action to ensure that Open Source products are fully and fairly considered throughout government IT; to ensure that we specify our requirements and publish our data in terms of Open Standards; and that we seek the same degree of flexibility in our commercial relationships with proprietary software suppliers as are inherent in the open source world.
Excellent stuff. There is a Netvibes dashboard set up to help monitor what is being said online, some of which is a little cynical and critical. I tend to prefer to be relentlessly positive.
Anyway, the situation with open source is a little similar to that of social web stuff, in that knowledge about it, and its possibilities, are somewhat limited. We need open source digital mentors!
Alternatively, we just need a wiki.
OpenSourceGov is a simple MediaWiki site which aims to collect together all the information a civil servant might ever want to know about open source and the options it makes available. Hopefully it will soon be able to answer questions like:
- Which licence should a government open source project be published under>
- What is the best open source content management system to use for which purpose?
- Where are the suppliers of open source solutions?
As well as many others.
Please do visit the wiki, and make use of the (currently limited) information on there. Even better, register for an account and add or edit some stuff you know about and share it with everyone else!