Open source software continues to attract interest from the government, with the first whole-of-government survey of how agencies use the software to go ahead in the coming months.
The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) will run an online survey of approximately 163 government agencies, from December to March, to gauge the adoption of open source technologies.
The survey will be the first detailed study of Australian government use and attitudes towards open source, with findings to be published early next year.
"The objective of this survey is to raise the level of understanding within government of why and how the open source paradigm and its products, services and communities are important to the Australian Government," said Australian government CIO Ann Steward, in a draft letter explaining the survey to agency CIOs. The draft letter is part of tender documents calling for suppliers of online survey systems.
Draft survey questions included in the tender ask agency CIOs to detail how open source software is used in their agency, whether they have an open source policy, their satisfaction with open source, and their intentions on server and desktop Linux.
AGIMO said much of its knowledge of how government agencies currently used open source software was anecdotal or incomplete.
The survey would help the government's IT-advisor agency see how open source was used in government, identify benefits and risks, and identify potential case study applications for government.
The survey period is expected to finish by 30 March, 2007.