Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Monday, October 16, 2006

Government is Own Worst Enemy for Open ICT

Side note: Please take the poll over here!!! -------------->

At last week's GOSCON conference, Andy Stein, CIO for the City of Newport News, Virginia, hightlighted the fact that governments are often their own worst enemies when it comes to openizing their ICT ecosysems.

The traditional procurement system does not work when it comes to open source. Even worse, it prevents innovative public - private technology partnerships and even agency-to-agency collaboration. Policies on open standards, open source and open ICT that are not directly incorporated into procurement rules and practices are destined to fail.

These are points that I make in every conference at which I speak about open technologies. It is also emphasized in the Open ePolicy Group's Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystems. Governments that want to "openize" their ICT ecosystems and drive innovation need to re-write their procurement rules.

This requires not only ending the practice of naming specific products, vendors and technologies in RFPs. The whole RFP process needs to be altered, or scrapped entirely. Criteria for selection of bids needs to change. Due diligance and contract management need to account for the fact that open source licenses, communities and companies work differently than proprietary vendors.

News Item of Note: Loss of Data by U.S. Agencies is Widespread.

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