U.S. Open Source for Open Government


In December the U.S. White House set guidelines for an open and transparent administration. The Open Source for America (OSFA) organization is now following up with tips for a governmental move to free software.

The Open Source for America organization is the largest lobbying group for free software in the U.S. Its members include Canonical, the Debian project, the GNOME Foundation, Google, KDE e.V., Novell, and Red Hat. Subsequent to the White House guidelines, the OSFA has set its own to help the individual governmental bodies in their move to free software by April 2010.

The relatively short and easy-to-understand document divides its recommendations into the categories Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency. In particular, "Agency procurement rules should explicitly reject preferences for particular products or development models" and instead "agencies should provide a means to receive unsolicited suggestions for free and open source software tools." They should also use platform-independent online tools as much as possible and provide free licensing for internally developed applications to "facilitate sharing" across agencies.

The complete Proposed Guidelines for Open Government Plans are on the OSFA homepage. President Obama had already set a good example in October 2009 by converting the White House portal to Drupal.

( Marcel Hilzinger)

Related content

  • Open Source Business Eyes Government Contracts

    Atlanta trade show helps government agencies learn about open source solutions, while also helping an open source startup navigate the government contracting process.

  • Protecting your private data from intruders

    You don't have to be a criminal to want to preserve your privacy. Fortunately, Ubuntu, and the Open Source community provide ways to keep snoopers at bay.

  • Welcome

    The title of this issue's Editorial section is a shameless rip-off of a section that used to run in Omni, the influential and very cool 80s magazine of "Science Fiction, Fact, and Fantasy." The section in Omni talked about advances in science and technology and where they would lead us. The title played on the actual verbal tense – the word "will" was used a lot in the articles, and the fact that, well, it was about the future.

  • SourceForge Denies Service for "Rogue" Nations

    SourceForge, the hosting and communication platform for many free software projects, is bowing to U.S. regulations and denying service to users from nations on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.

  • Likewise Open Sees 100,000 Downloads Thanks Open Source Community

    Likewise announced today that over 100,000 organizations have downloaded Likewise Open, its cross-platform integration software used for joining desktops and servers running Linux, Unix and Mac OS X to an organization's existing Active Directory environment.