Government Departments: Computer Software

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 16 December 2009.

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Photo of Adam Afriyie Adam Afriyie Shadow Minister (Science and Innovation)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made in implementing the Government Action Plan Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use; and what (a) metrics and (b) delivery mechanisms she has established to monitor implementation of the action plan.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Minister of State (Third Sector), Cabinet Office, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Third Sector)

The Open Source, Open Standards and Re-use Action Plan was published in February 2009 as Government policy-focussing on ensuring value for money for taxpayers. Cabinet Office does not gather centralised data regarding software procurement, as this is the responsibility of individual Accounting Officers.

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is currently developing guidance for the procurement of open source and is working with departments and local authorities that have successfully implemented open source applications, to share best practice and effective methods for procurement.

A recent survey undertaken by OGC and Buying Solutions (the national Public Buying Organisation) highlighted that progress on implementation is already being made. For example:

Over 25 per cent. of secondary schools use the Linux operating system on at least one computer.

35 per cent. of NHS organisations (over 300,000 users) are supported on a Linux infrastructure as the NHS 'Spine' uses an open source operating system, and

All staff and public PCs in Birmingham City Council's library services now have a mixture of open source and proprietary software.

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