Open Standards Board appointed by UK Cabinet Office
To help the government decide on what open standards will be recommended and implemented, the UK Cabinet Office has now announced the appointment of an Open Standards Board. The board, its purpose and its make-up, was defined as part of the Open Standards Principles. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "the Open Standards Board has a key role to play in establishing the open standards that should be used when the government buys its IT, so that we can make sure that we choose what best meets our users’ needs" noting that open standards are "at the heart of making government IT cheaper, more flexible, more connected and attuned to providing user-focused public services."
Drawn from a group of industry, professional, developer and academic volunteers with demonstrated skills in implementing, setting or leading standards, the board will advise the Cabinet Office and recommend open standards and whether they should be compulsory. The board's first eight challenges have already been outlined on the Standards Hub and range from IP addressing on the government's network to interoperability for end user devices used within the government.
The board is chaired by Liam Maxwell of the Government Digital Service (GDS). He is joined by John Atherton (CTO at Surevine), Adam Cooper (Bolton University), Matthew Dovey (Joint Information Systems Committee), Paul Downey (GDS), Lee Edwards (London Borough of Redbridge), Tim Kelsey (NHS Commissioning Board), John Sheridan (The National Archives), Jeni Tennison (Open Data Institute) and Chris Ulliott (CESG). The Standards Hub has background information on all the board members. The Standards Hub also encourages interested parties to register and opt in to work with and volunteer to assist workshops and working groups. This will assist the board in gathering information and making decisions. Standards Hub users will be able to present ideas and proposals to the board. The wider adoption of open standards should help level the playing field for suppliers of open source in the future.