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Government Departments: Computer Software

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the adoption of open source software in Government. (256972)

The Government are committed to seek the best value for money in the technology it buys. We announced in 2004 that Open Source solutions should be considered fairly on this basis. Since then, many Government Departments have shown that Open Source can be best for the taxpayer—for our web services, for the NHS and in other vital public services.

However we need to ensure that the potential of open source solutions are fully appreciated among all Government IT Suppliers and among the Government's own IT and procurement professionals. I am publishing today new procurement guidelines and a programme of ten positive actions to ensure that cost-benefit analysis of open source is a regular part of IT procurement. I am placing a full copy of the document in the Libraries of the House.