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 In the UK Openforum Europe manages a UK Public Sector Group  in support of implementation of the UK Government's programme of activities on Open Standards and Open Source.

 

In early 2010 the UK Government published its Action Plan on “Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use” which was a milestone in moving the UK Public Sector strategy away from past lock-in to proprietary solutions from a single supplier and towards an open path based on Open Standards and a level playing field for Open Source. It was not, however, the first time that a UKG strategy paper has proposed increased use of both Open Standards and Open Source – in 2004 (republished in 2009) the Government declared its preferences but these were not backed by a defined et of specific actions to turn strategy into delivery. OFE has long been a campaigner for Government action and the publication of the Action Plan was a catalyst for its Public Sector Group to focus not on arguing words and definitions, but to promote specific pragmatic dialogue between Government, the industry and the open community, to lead to actions which would overcome current blockers to progress, and promote new opportunity through successful implementation of the Action Plan.

 

The UK Public Sector Group is managed by OFE Secretariate, but is now co-chaired by a senior representative of OFE's membership (Deloitte) and by a representative of the UK Government Cabinet Office who is responsible for the Action Plan. The original Terms of Reference can be seen here  [Currently being updated], but these have been subsequently modified to focus on delivery of that Action Plan.

 

In 2011 UKG has published three important further milestones:

  • A Procurement Policy Note on Open Standards

  • A public survey on Open Standards

  • The ICT Strategy

 

The ICT Strategy includes important anouncements of support and implementation for both Open Source and Open Standards, which the UK PSG will increasingly focus on in future meetings.

 

The ICT Strategy includes announcement of three UKG initiatives – a Systems Integrator Forum, a OSS SIG for public sector departments, and an Open Source Advisory Panel. The latter is being established by Openforum Europe in partnership with the Cabinet Office.

 

 

For more information on OFE's UK activities contact:

Basil Cousins basil@openforumeurope.org

+44 208 224 1830

 

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