Open source in government could save taxpayers hundreds of millions
Friday, May 11, 2012
A Canadian advocacy group has said that open source software could save government hundreds of millions of pounds. Getting Open Source Logic Into Government (GOSLING) say proprietary software is wasteful and disadvantageous to governmental transparency.
They say that the Canadian government is spending $1.5 billion (£930 million) buying software when it should only cost a third of that. According to GOSLING, the disjointed and unnecessary development in governmental departments causes the waste.
Co-founder of GOSLING Russell McOrmond believes the issue is not one of adopting open source platforms, but using a shared services platform between different governmental departments. He also believes that procurement processes can favour large suppliers.
McOrmond stated: “Say the government of Canada decided, ‘let’s do an open-bidding process on support contracts for LibreOffice or OpenOffice. How do you do an open bidding process for licences for Microsoft Office? There’s only one copyright holder. So you can’t do three bids from three competing companies offering that code. But you can do three competing companies offering full source to support contracts to training, on free software equivalents.”