Monday, November 23, 2009

Open Source and Data Sharing questions in UK Parliament (Nov 12 2009)

It was very interesting to recently discover this Hansard exchange from the UK parliament dated Nov 12 2009 involving Open Source and sharing data:

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 12 Nov 2009

Public Bodies: Databases

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps her Department is taking to facilitate data sharing among public sector bodies. [299480]

Angela E. Smith: The Ministry of Justice is the lead Department on data sharing. The Cabinet Office supports technical elements of secure data handling and ensures that considerations of Data Sharing informs our work to promote more joined up public services.

Sharing data securely is a requirement of the Data Handling Review, which all public bodies must adhere to.

Public Sector: ICT

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment has been made of the levels of compliance with her Department's guidance on public sector open source software procurement; and what steps are being taken to ensure compliance. [299407]

Angela E. Smith: The Open Source, Open Standards and Re-use Action Plan was published in February 2009 and is Government policy.

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is currently developing guidance for the procurement of open source, working with departments and local authorities that have successfully implemented open source applications, to share best practice and effective methods for procurement. The basis of the guidance has been prepared and material based on practical experience is now being sought from industry and government bodies to enhance the content.

The Cabinet Office does not gather centralised data regarding software procurement.
I'm glad someone's parliament is at least talking about these issues.

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