South Australia's parliament will soon be discussing a bill that would give strong support to the adoption of Open Source Software for that state. OSV applauds all serious government interest in Free and Open Source Software. We also believe the following are best-practice policies for Australian state and federal governments to adopt on matters of software procurement:
- That governments should mandate the use of open, documented and inter-operable file formats and data communication protocols, rather than specific products or suppliers.
- That it is in government departments' best interests to choose technologies which have implementations from more than one vendor, boosting the department's tactical leverage and hedging against any single supplier gaining lock-in and price gouging mechanisms.
- Preference should be given to technologies for which there is is a case to be made that local industry can benefit, and that import replacements can be enacted, helping improve our woeful balance of trade in ICT.
We believe that if this combination of purchasing policies is adopted, Free and Open Source Software will be the shown as the best route to fulfilling these requirements, but that non-FOSS technologies can compete openly and fairly.