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27 January 2010, 10:54

UK Government upgrades Open Source policy

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Cabinet Office Seal The UK Government has revised its 2009 Open Source strategy and will now require suppliers to show they have considered open source. Although the government says that the new strategy documentPDF "does not represent a wholesale change to Open Source Open Standards Reuse Strategy" they have taken account of feedback from The government will now require suppliers to demonstrate that they have considered open source when bidding and says it will disqualify suppliers from bidding if they cannot do so.

When procuring software, the government has added an accounting requirement which means that proprietary suppliers who offer a "perpetual licence", which would appear to be a zero cost to a project, now account for the cost with a 'shadow' licence price based on the un-discounted list price or public sector price. This 'shadow' licence price would be used in total cost of ownership calculations. The government have also restated and clarified their expectation that software licences be freely transferable within the public sector. Specifically, the government expects no additional costs when the public sector start transferring licences to the forthcoming Government Cloud.

The updated strategy document contains an action plan, but as with its predecessor, there is no schedule for the action items in the plan, which was a criticism of the 2009 guidelines.


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