While the UK's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) points to the
savings possible using OSS and warns against high lifecycle costs
of proprietary software, its cousin organization, the National
Health Service (NHS), indulges in an expensive renewal of
proprietary software licenses.
It looked like the UK had finally joined the long list of
countries opting to sit on the fence in support of Open Source
Software (OSS). So it was a pleasant surprise for the OSS community
when Whitehall recently woke up to the benefits of OSS in public
programs and civil procurement.
The UK's powerful buying arm, the Office of Government Commerce
(OGC), pronounced in a well-researched and clearly articulated
study, that OSS is a "viable and credible alternative to
proprietary software for infrastructure implementations, and for
meeting the requirements of the majority of desktop users".
Reporting to the Secretary of the Treasury, the OGC helps guide and
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of central civil
government procurement in the UK.