Category Archives: FOI Requests

Case Studies published by OSC Members.

Which Department? How many seats?

A recent article in the Guardian “CESG asserts security of open source software” contains the following:

[A Cabinet Office official] said that simply considering open source alternatives helps improve competition, and mentioned that he encouraged a department to pilot open source LibreOffice as an alternative to upgrading its Microsoft software. This led to Microsoft providing the new software for free.

We’re a bit surprised about that, so we’ve asked for more information.

As usual, your improvements and annotations are welcome

10 November 2011

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Decision to describe Open Source Advisory Panel as “established”

In May 2011 we made an FOI request about about the Open Source Advisory Panel (OSAP) – see also Evidence supplied to PASC by Minister for the Cabinet Office. Eventually we were advised:

  • Cabinet Office is in the process of redefining [the structure] so that OSAP becomes an online forum
  • The Terms of Reference for the OSAP are in the process of being drafted and will be available on the Open Forum Europe (OFE) website […] are exempt from disclosure under section 22(1) of the FOI Act
  • No OSAP work plan has been agreed for next year
  • No meetings of OSAP have taken place
  • No advice has been provided to Government via OSAP
  • OSAP has not formally met

Continue reading Decision to describe Open Source Advisory Panel as “established”

Avoiding ICT lock-in costs in West Sussex

We’ve asked West Sussex County Council about the background to the decision to renew an existing ICT contract without tendering due to IP issues and what they are going to do to avoid that happening in the future.

Improvements and annotations welcome


West Sussex provided a very helpful reply, thank you. Unfortunately for them it was so helpful it also included some dissenting metadata:

JL: 12months is incredibly optimistic if we had to change product sets across the 330 schools. I genuinely doubt we could deliver this.

Of course there’s the other problem SIMS which is inescapable apparently

27 April 2011 updated 1 Jun 2011

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Background on decision to use open standards in govt ICT

We’ve asked Cabinet Office about the background to the publication of the procurement policy note published in January regarding open standards

Asked on 18 April and finally answered on 4 July, part of the reply included this statement:

The Standards and Architecture Framework was in development when the briefing note was prepared. Its replacement is still in development. It is not in the public interest to disclose information in the briefing note relating to the Framework in the context of developing policy. Premature disclosure would adversely affect decisions and discussions still to take place regarding the content of the replacement reference architecture. Debate is already raging in the press and with lobbying organisations regarding government’s open standards policy due to the recent UK Government Open Standards Survey, the public response to which is due in the autumn.

Improvements and annotations welcome

18 April 2011 updated 15 September 2011

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