Open source and open standards needed in Britain's public sector says UK govt's Digital Director

Matthew Finnegan | ComputerWorldUK | January 17, 2013

Public sector organisations need to quicken adoption of open source and open standards software in order to meet government aims for digitising services, Cabinet Office Director for Digital Mike Bracken has said. Speaking at the Government ICT conference in London this week, Bracken warned that a bigger push is needed in order to introduce a wave of digital services during this parliament, including digitising hundreds of thousands of transactions across government.

Last November departments were told they must comply with Open Standards Principles (OSPs) in order to enable interoperability and reduce costs. However Bracken said more needs to be done to open the doors to innovative technologies that will enable a swift IT transformation. "There are a bunch of companies, [and] open source open standards services that we really need to plug into this government system if we are going to transform these transactions as quickly as we need to do," he said.

Bracken highlighted tools such as Hadoop and Solr and a variety of companies which had been used to build GOV.UK, suggesting that they should be used by more IT managers across all parts of government."There is an entirely new way of approaching how we build government services, but only if they are built on open standards, and open source," he said...