Government use of opensource: an example

Triggered by a tweet from Robert Brook (someone I follow on Twitter), I went and visited the online Hansard for the first time today. And this is what I saw:

OpenSolaris. MySQL. Apache. Mongrel. Ruby on Rails. Subversion. Lucene. Solr. How refreshing to see our UK “tax dollars” at work this way.

Governments and public sector organisations in the free world already have many laws about the process and transparency of public purse procurement. Which is why I’m surprised not to have seen mandates about the use of opensource.

3 thoughts on “Government use of opensource: an example”

  1. Hi JP!

    I’m part of the small team which produces the Hansard prototype site. The real work has been done by the excellent contractors we have been lucky enough to retain. We’re releasing everything we legally can, more of which at

    We’re Parliament, not government – they are, by the sounds of things, able to do considerably more than we are. But it’s a start!


  2. Robert, thanks for the heads-up on “parliament, not government”. I guess I should have said public service or something like that.

    delighted to see the kind of work you guys are doing. no surprise that it is to do with the excellence of your team.

    there was, is and will always continue to be a war for talent. from my viewpoint, the best strategy has always been, akin to Mrs Beeton and jugged hare, “first hire good people”.

    of course the very concept of “hiring” changes with time, as security of tenure is no longer assumable.

    thanks for getting in touch

  3. Open Source is a continual topic of conversation in my circles. At the risk of being pursued by the unnameable enforcers of the CIO Council, we are looking to refresh the guidance on the use of Open Source by government.

    But it’s also fair to say that a number of us are already using Open Source in one way or another, it just may not be something we particularly publicise.

Let me know what you think

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