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Open Source Software

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of his Department’s computer systems use open source software; what percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether he plans to increase the use of open source software in his Department. (111172)

The Department supports the use of open source software where it would provide long-term benefits to the Department.

The Department has outsourced its core IT services under a long-term PFI deal to Fujitsu.

Fujitsu is responsible for making technical decisions about which software and hardware to use to meet the Department’s business needs. One of Fujitsu’s objectives is to provide the Department with best value for money and, with that in mind, Fujitsu considers whether the use of open source software would be appropriate, taking into account such issues as support costs, interoperability, migration costs and retraining.

To date, there is minimal use of open source software in the Department’s core IT services, but Fujitsu regularly reviews whether its application would benefit the Department and if this is found to be the case, its introduction will be supported.

The Office of Government Commerce has published a policy on the use of Open Source Software and the DTI’s use of Open Source Software follows this policy where appropriate.