Publication: OSPOs in the public sector

08 July 2022

Author: Paula Grzegorzewska

Read our latest paper on the state of play, rationale and context of the emergence of Open Source Program Offices in the public sector observed in the last couple of years. 

This paper provides an overview of the uptake of Open Source in the public sector and its role in enhancing openness, transparency and cooperation within and between public organisations. Three case studies – France, Paris and the European Commission – outline best practices developed and the challenges experienced in building an OSPO by public officials. The last chapter discusses the ways in which a network of OSPOs can benefit the public sector at large and support broader policy goals of sustainable and innovative digital transition.

This paper was presented for the first time at our event on “OSPOs! New Approaches to Public Sector Open Source” in Toulouse on 20 June 2022, during the week of the Digital Assembly, the yearly event co-hosted by the Government holding the EU presidency and the European Commission.

What is an OSPO?

An OSPO is an institutional organisational construct supports and accelerates the consumption, creation, and application of Open Source software. There are an increasing number examples of OSPOs in Governments, but they are already established as best practice in the private sector. Overall, OSPOs boost awareness and technical competence on Open Source within the organisation they are built in, working strategically to achieve the policy objectives of the institution that intersect with Open Source.

Thank you!

This work is the result of an intense and fruitful exchange with multiple stakeholders. In April, OFE hosted a workshop on the concept of OSPO in the public sector, where representatives of governments, academia and private sector gathered to share valuable inputs and best practices surrounding the establishment and management of OSPOs.

Thank you to the expert group that contributed to the paper:
• Bastien Guerry, Government of France • Clare Dillon, InnerSource Commons Foundation and OSPO++ • Danese Cooper, InnerSource Commons Foundation and OSPO++ • Deborah Bryant, Independent Advisor, Open Source Initiative Board Emeritus • Frederik Blachetta, Dataport • Gaël Blondelle, Eclipse Foundation • Gijs Hillenius, European Commission • Jacob Green, • James Vasile, Open Tech Strategies • Johan Linåker, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden • Leslie Hawthorn, Red Hat, Open Source Initiative Board Emeritus • Mala Kumar, GitHub • Michael Plagge, Eclipse Foundation • Miguel Diez-Blanco, European Commission • Philippe Bareille, City of Paris • Richard Littauer, Open Source Collective and Sustain • Sayeed Choudhury, Johns Hopkins University •

It is published jointly by OpenForum Europe and the OSPO Alliance that hosts OSPO.Zone, an open experience-sharing platform to facilitate discovery of tools and best practices in Open Source software management.