U.S. Open Source for Open Government

Jan 21, 2010

In December the U.S. White House set guidelines for an open and transparent administration. The Open Source for America (OSFA) organization is now following up with tips for a governmental move to free software.

The Open Source for America organization is the largest lobbying group for free software in the U.S. Its members include Canonical, the Debian project, the GNOME Foundation, Google, KDE e.V., Novell, and Red Hat. Subsequent to the White House guidelines, the OSFA has set its own to help the individual governmental bodies in their move to free software by April 2010.

The relatively short and easy-to-understand document divides its recommendations into the categories Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency. In particular, "Agency procurement rules should explicitly reject preferences for particular products or development models" and instead "agencies should provide a means to receive unsolicited suggestions for free and open source software tools." They should also use platform-independent online tools as much as possible and provide free licensing for internally developed applications to "facilitate sharing" across agencies.

The complete Proposed Guidelines for Open Government Plans are on the OSFA homepage. President Obama had already set a good example in October 2009 by converting the White House portal to Drupal.

Related content


  • Open Source for America - Proposed Guidelines

    If you are interested in providing comments to the guidelines, register at http://www.opensourceforamerica.org and add your comments before February 5th.
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