AU government commissions open source procurement guide

The federal government has commissioned a sourcing guide designed to give departments and agencies an improved understanding of the procurement processes involved for open source software and solutions.

The federal government has commissioned a sourcing guide designed to give departments and agencies an improved understanding of the procurement processes involved for open source software and solutions.

According to open source industry activists, the guide -- being prepared by the Australian Government Information Management Office -- is designed to provide departments and agencies with knowledge of the practical, procedural and policy-oriented machinery necessary to increase the likelihood of success in any open source procurement.

In a posting to Linux and open-source user groups, Cybersource chief executive officer Con Zymaris said the guide would also cover "all appropriate considerations for reducing risk in this relatively new procurement area for the federal government".

Zymaris said the document would not take a pro-FOSS [free-and-open-source] stance, "remaining neutral on this topic".

He said the guide would also provide useful information for purveyors of open source solutions, "to better understand government sourcing needs and processes.

"If you are a vendor in this space and want specific information included, here is your chance".

The commissioning of the guide further reinforces the headway being made by open source software solutions into federal and state governments, although proprietary software heavyweight Microsoft last week described pirated software as a "tougher competitor" to it than Linux and other open-source variants.

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