Open Source Could Save Government £600m Says Tory Report

UK Government could save as much as £600million per annum on IT projects if it switches some of its existing infrastructure to open source software, says a new report commissioned by the Conservatives.

Compiled by Dr Mark Thompson from the Judge Business School, Cambridge, the report discusses the benefits of open source software in monitoring the IT projects costs, and has recommended a £100million cap on IT related projects in future.

Instead of paying huge amounts to the tech giants, the report recommended the government to open up the procurement procedures to smaller firms by using open source platform.

This fixation of spending on IT projects could help the government to avoid catastrophic IT projects “white elephants”, like the NHS patient record system, which has already been delayed by five years and £10billion over budget, conservative claims.

Backing the proposals mentioned in the report, the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement, “We have led the debate on using open-source software in government, and I’m delighted that Dr Mark Thompson has come forward with these detailed recommendations”

Thompson’s report suggested that cost savings on IT projects can be achieved, along with cheaper licensing, by emancipating the government agencies from long-term monopolistic supply situations.

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Our Comments

Great seeing some mainstream support for open source involvement to help the government save money in IT projects. It is highly likely that the current economic climate will encourage public bodies to use or at least explore the use of cheaper IT solutions. Switching to Linux, the LAMP stack or Openoffice.org might be part of the process.

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