[ubuntu-uk] [Fwd: [SWLUG] Open government IT projects]
steve at nexusuk.org
Mon Jan 22 17:08:35 GMT 2007
Disclaimer: I'm not an Ubuntu user, but I was pointed at this response by
Andrew Price so thought I would join the list to reply in the open.
> Interesting idea, I think I might sign it. Just one thing so, could you
> give me some examples of the programs this would apply to - just want to
> know what I'm asking to be freed up by putting my name on there.
I'm thinking of any government IT project in general, excluding things
like military projects in which national security would be harmed by
embracing an open development model. So stuff like the (massively
overbudget) NHS database, etc.
The general thought is three-fold:
1. As tax payers, we have paid for some source code to be developed, so
unless there's a really good reason, shouldn't we be allowed the use of
2. By choosing a suitable Free licence, it is possible to reuse code (both
from old government projects and from other Free projects), which would
hopefully reduce the ongoing costs of developing these systems. Using
existing, high quality code as the basis for projects may also enable
smaller businesses to compete with the large companies who have been used
previously to build software for scratch (e.g. EDS).
3. An open development model would allow technical members of the public
to see what the state of a project is and what problems are being
encountered. Also, for things like the biometric passport database,
security is very important, and I for one trust the security of open
systems more than closed systems (whilest I may not agree with databases
like this, if I'm going to be required to submit data for storage in it I
want to be sure that data is as secure as possible).
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