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Aussie Govts don’t know how to buy open source

Aug 24, 2010, 18:35 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Shorter)

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"For the last ten years, web-based communities have achieved significant advancement in productivity by using collaborative work practices, such as open source software, open standards, and organic data sharing.

"Open source offers a diverse range of applications which are robust, feature-rich and compliant with current standards. Indeed, the government has publicly recognised its benefits for years. For example, the 2005 release of the Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies notes that "[Open Source] has the potential to lead to significant savings in Government."

"Despite the potential benefits, however, government uptake of open source is surprisingly low. Why? Because government purchasing practices inadvertently hinder the procurement of open source. Government purchasing guidelines favour business models that build closed systems and apply lock-in tactics over the sharing and collaborative business practices used by open source communities."

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