George Osborne seems to get it, and he spoke with clarity and passion. In his remarks (full speech is here), he complained of the uneven playing field for open source in government procurement.
But his challenge went beyond procurement rules. Osbourne called for a change in the culture of government in the digital age, and presented a technology strategy for the Conservative Party based upon three pillars: equality of information, social networking and open source. And not just open source as software but open source as a powerful model for mass collaboration.
Open source politics does not mean open source dictatorship. A Conservative Party spokesperson underscored this after the speech:
"Procurement should be based on what best meets their needs. Functionality, performance, security, value and the cost of ownership of software should be the priority, not categorical preferences for open source software, commercial software, free software or any other software development model."If only more politicians spoke like this.
Categories: opensource, UK, government