Tuesday, May 10, 2011

UK Government Must Heed Dutch Audit Court Warning Prior To Implementing 'Open' IT Procurement Action

UK Government Must Heed Dutch Audit Court Warning Prior To Implementing 'Open' IT Procurement Action

In the recent Guardian article entitled, Government Takes Action on Open Technology,1 OpenForumEurope (OFE) president Graham Taylor revels in the UK Government's issuance of a January 2011 Procurement Policy Note that effectively reinstated, at least for the UK, the initial version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIFv1.0), despite its having been roundly rejected by the European Commission and Council of the European Union during December 2010 in favor of technology and business model neutrality.


In alleging that the UK action had "shamed some other European countries", Mr. Taylor, however, shamelessly misrepresented how the UK Government hadn't been "open to lobbying pressure". This is a quite remarkable claim given the New York Times' revelation reported last year that the Brussels-based OFE has long served as a "lobbying front"/mask for U.S.-based industry members IBM, Google, Oracle and Red Hat - a/k/a/ 'IGOR' – which quietly but unsuccessfully endeavored to shape the European Commission's EIF project to suit their own interests. It rings all the more hollow considering the OFE's effective lobbying thereafter of the UK coalition government which was reported to have quickly warmed to its FOSS-centric ideas.2 Indeed, given the size of the UK government procurement market (£16.9bn spend) and its growing influence over privatemarket behavior, it is no wonder that OFE's IGOR had worked diligently under cover of night within the UK Government's policy laboratory to align the parties' respective interests for purposes of ensuring that the UK government openly endorsed and expressed a clear preference for royalty-freeopen source software-based eGovernment platforms...

No comments: