Federal government agencies are adopting free and open source software (FOSS) with increasing zeal, according to a new study undertaken by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).
Two in three (68 percent) of respondents to an AGIMO survey of federal government agencies said they are actively using FOSS.
The report, said an AGIMO spokesperson, shows "strong agency support" for open source -- with most agencies expecting use of such software to increase over the next five years.
The report also showed that users within government share some practical concerns around a lack of vendor support for open source software.
AGIMO in response wants to develop a strong user community within government, and foster greater awareness of the solutions available to agencies via regular events and the possible establishing of an open-source resource centre.
AGIMO has already scheduled a half-day seminar on the use of FOSS in November as a part of its Better Practice Seminar series, which aims to educate and inform government staff on IT and process improvement issues.
"The idea behind the event is to encourage information sharing among agencies and to inform agencies about free and open-source software usage across government," the AGIMO spokesperson said. "The event has the potential to grow to include a wider audience and industry participation."
AGIMO is also considering a review of what open-source solutions are already available and in use, what vendors are in the market and what support options are available.
An executive summary of the report will be released to the public at the end of the month.