OSS and the Public Sector (again)

Red Hat and Alfresco complain that the Government’s Action Plan for Open Source Software is not delivering.

I’m inclined to ask if they actually read it and what they were expecting it to deliver?. As action plans go, it doesn’t even get to the starting gate of the UK Government’s own Treasury guidelines for performance measurement.

Starting with Action 10 [Government] will engage with the Open Source community, back in February we wrote to the then Minister seeking to explore the narrow, technocratic perspective the report adopted. As we all know FOSS is not a product, it is an approach to development, quality, governance and freedom (of all kinds). We’re still waiting and would love to hear from somebody.

We’re a bunch of SMEs trying hard to get noticed, but if the large organisations don’t talk up what really sets FOSS apart from proprietary software then how is your average public sector decision maker supposed to notice the difference? Perhaps they could start by reading the advice they give to others?

— Gerry Gavigan, OSC Chairman, 25th September 2009

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