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Councils to get the message about challenges of open source

Antony Savvas

A conference to discuss the challenges facing local authorities in choosing software platforms for delivering e-government programmes will be held on 6 February. The conference is being staged by London Connects and the Open Source Academy (OSA).

The OSA, which is funded through the Office of the Deputy Prime Mininster’s e-Innovations programme, is tasked with providing answers to local authorities on the use of open source software (OSS) and its integration with the proprietary systems that dominate the sector.

The ODPM wants to see greater competition in the software market and aims to encourage local authorities to make more use of OSS as it believes it is potentially cheaper and more secure.

The conference will mark the launch of a certification scheme to enable councils more easily to understand the implications that proprietary software lock-ins can have on future procurement decisions.

Called Certified Open, the scheme will gauge the “openness” of software and its potential for integration and use with other software systems, which will assist local authority officers when making decisions about software procurement.

The conference will also announce the results of all the projects being run under Open Source Academy auspices, including the implementation of the open source Star Office collaboration suite at Bristol City Council, and the roll-out of OSS at Birmingham City Council.

For further information about the conference and the OSA go to:

www.opensourceacademy.org.uk
or
www.londonconnects.gov.uk

 


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