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Politicians talking “open source”, but this time its in the UK

Posted by grundleborg on January 30, 2009

I haven’t written a blog entry for ages – so long in fact that it almost resulted in a mutiny against me in #kde-bugs. So, with the fear of angry triagers trying to RESOLVE me and a vaguely relevant BBC article to inspire me, here goes…

This morning I happened to be reading a BBC article when multiple mentions of the “open source software” buzzword caught my eye. It starts like more of the typical ranting about the ever lasting NHS computer system saga, that anyone vaguely aware of British politics will be bored stiff with hearing about by now, but then it goes on:

Instead of awarding long-term contracts to large IT companies they could open up the procurement process to smaller firms using “open source” software.

Grrr… why do they have to mention “smaller firms” and “open source software” together like that (or perhaps I’m just being paranoid).

It recommends the adoption of open data standards across government, in effect creating a common “language” for government IT systems.

This would reduce licensing costs and free government bodies from long-term monopoly supply contracts, the report says.

Dr Thompson said his report “shows how government could save hundreds of millions of pounds a year by creating a more open IT procurement process – including levelling the playing field for open source software”.

“It isn’t rocket science – it’s about creating a modern and efficient procurement system. Governments and companies around the world are making use of open source software, and we could achieve much more here in the UK,” he added.

The article goes on. I must say it’s nice to hear some high-level political report talking in these terms, but whether it will come to anything remains to be seen – it is at this stage only the opposition party talking like this.

More on-topic KDE stuff soon (I hope).

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2 Responses to “Politicians talking “open source”, but this time its in the UK”

  1. Kevin Krammer said

    “Grrr… why do they have to mention “smaller firms” and “open source software” together like that (or perhaps I’m just being paranoid).”

    Could be interpreted as “open source software enables smaller firms to compete in call for tenders for the same services currently only large firms can offer”

  2. grundleborg said

    @Kevin: yes, you’re right… I guess I really am too skeptical of politicians’ intents 🙂

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