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Open Source Software

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (111160)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) percentage of implemented computer systems in DEFRA that use open source software is small, less than 5 per cent.;

(b) Open Source software is being used in the development of several new applications, for example in the delivery of spatial information services and for application development tools, and more significantly as software components embedded in numerous vendor supplied software products, where vendors have adopted and developed open source. Use of Open Source software is fully compliant with the requirements of the OGC guidance on OSS, and any software chosen is fully covered by OSS/GPL;

(c) DEFRA has recently outsourced its IT operations. There are no targets imposed on the supplier to implement open source software, a level playing field will apply in procurement of software solutions. The IT supplier is bound to work within eGlF standards and many of the planned IT systems will include a significant proportion of open source code.