Of the top five state portals (as judged by this year's Best of the Web), four use open source software to support their portal sites. The only exception is the state of Washington which came in fourth. The others all run on Linux, Apache, and Resin.
The UK's Office of the E-Envoy has issued an open source policy with these key points:
- UK Government will consider OSS solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements. Contracts will be awarded on a value for money basis.
- UK Government will only use products for interoperability that support open standards and specifications in all future IT developments.
- UK Government will seek to avoid lock-in to proprietary IT products and services.
- UK Government will consider obtaining full rights to bespoke software code or customisations of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) software it procures wherever this achieves best value for money.
- UK Government will explore further the possibilities of using OSS as the default exploitation route for Government funded R&D software.
Here's what they're saying to the media:
"UK.gov sits like a coiled viper ready to strike just as soon as IBM and "other people" give the word."
Last week, they issued an official response to public comment on their eGovernment Policy Framework.
Alan is making the case for personalization, but only when you're ready for it:
"I think the case for personalisation is clear. The issue is that it is only a step to take once the basics are done - once you have a highly navigable site that is content rich and has the information that people need - then, and only then, can we talk personalisation ... I'm not sure we're ready for that yet. I'm certain, though, that if it costs 4 times as much to implement and operate such a site, then we need to be absolutely sure that we're ready and that we know how it's going to be done."
At a government technology conference in New Zealand they're saying:
"E-government has finally found its purpose. To integrate the smart use of technology with policy, organisational and process innovation."
The South African government is that country's largest user of open source. Last week, the Vietnam government made an open source commitment, requiring that government desktops run desktop open-source operating systems by 2005.