A new model for IT procurement for local governments in the United Kingdom is urging public administrations to use open standards, to create room for agile and innovative software solutions including open source. One of the aims of the National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government is to reduce IT expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the next five years.
The procurement strategy was announced by the IT news site Government Computing, on 21 May. The Local Government Association, involved in the strategy, did not respond to phone and email request for more details.
According to the site, the National ICT Category Management Programme aims to include open source technology, open standards, to transform the market with disruptive innovation to "deliver the next generation of digital public services". One of the programme's principles, writes the Government Computing, is "Open Standards and Innovation: Encourage the adoption of open standards that do not prohibit agile and innovative software implementation, including open source access."
The site quotes the CIO of the London borough of Camden, John Jackson, who called the strategy critical for the public sector. "I'm confident this new approach will drive out efficiencies, accelerate innovation through sharing and fundamentally disrupt a tired and medieval software market forever."
In April, CIO Jackon announced the Open Systems Alliance, aiming to get the UK's local authorities to develop, share and re-use software solutions.