All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Government departments face possibility of open source 'spot checks'

30 May 2012
Cloud computing use is a major government IT strategy

The government has revealed that it is considering implementing departmental open source spot checks to ensure they give proper consideration to the technology when buying IT systems.

Home Office lead IT architect Tariq Rashid, told V3 that Whitehall's record with open source remained patchy.

"Some departments are great at looking at open source and others are not so good," said Rashid.

"What we haven't done and what we may consider doing is spot checks to ensure [all departments] are properly evaluating [open source technology]."

Currently, Rashid said central government departments are not pressured into adopting open source technology, although many do so after witnessing successful projects in other departments.

He also said major government procurement deals above a certain price are checked by the Cabinet Office central spend control process.

"This additional check at the Cabinet Office makes sure departments have looked at cloud technology and open source. Now departments fear having their projects pushed back so they are beginning to come to us first and ask about Alfresco and Apache," said Rashid.

Rashid was speaking at the Open Government Summit in Westminster, an event organised by open source providers Zaizi.

During a presentation Rashid called for the government to improve its act when procuring IT and argued open source technology must be considered at every stage.

Rashid said the public sector often lacked an understanding about open source technology and wrongly assumed it was less secure than proprietary alternatives.

The Home Office official claimed a public sector website had recently avoided paying £400,000 by using open source software, while a new border control messaging system based on open source technology will save the taxpayer £10m over the next five years.

"A messaging structure that will work internationally in the border space cost £12m over five years [when running on proprietary technology] but now we will spend £2m over the next five years," said Rashid.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

More on Open Source
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet powered by Android KitKat 4.4

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet video

We take a look at the lightweight, waterproof tablet

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery


iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Software Development Engineer

Develop: Customise: Configure. Maximise your technical...

Internship – Modeling computational complexity of DSP algorithms

Internship – Modeling computational complexity of DSP...

Software Developer

Do you consider yourself a good programmer and get a...

iOS / OS X Software Engineer

Location: Wroclaw Join the leader in entertainment...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.