UK Government IT – a closed shop to SMEs and OSS?

There’s a lot of buzz currently around the UK government and its approach to IT projects (which has been historically rather poor in terms of delivery, schedules and cost). We’ve written before about an Action Plan that recommends open source and open standards, but it seems that actually implementing these is more of a problem, especially when you consider (flexible and more agile) smaller suppliers such as ourselves who may not even get a chance to compete for the business.

There’s an inquiry running currently that promises to look at this, and they have invited various people to put their views across. Unfortunately with one laudable exception these people were from (or mainly represent) very large IT companies who already supply the government and whose interest lies in maintaining the status quo.

As Mark Taylor of Sirius has already pointed out, this situation isn’t going to change until government procurement itself becomes an open process, so that we can all see how much could be wasted on outdated project management methods and overpriced closed source software.

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