UK signs up to Open Government Partnership agreement to share open source code and algorithms
The UK has joined an international initiative to promote the use of open source software in government, signing up to a programme to increase the sharing and reuse of code.
The Government signed the Paris Declaration last week at the Open Government Partnership summit, which highlighted the potential for open source to support efforts to reduce corruption by increasing transparency and strengthening governance.
The agreement involves promoting the transparency and accountability of the relevant code and algorithms “wherever possible and appropriate”.
The first deliverable of the group is an open source contribution policy template, which is already available in an alpha version on github and will be further developed over the next few months. It has been written by a number of governments and organisations to help those wanting to set up a free/open source software contribution policy, and provides some guidance on best practice and central governance.
James Stewart, director of architecture and head of technology at that Government Digital Service (GDS), says in a blogpost that it will be taking part of the work, and is planning to incorporate it within a new phase of work on the Digital Marketplace.
This follows work with the Australian Digital Transformation Office to establish a similar marketplace for its own government.
The anti-corruption element of the effort was highlighted by the Government’s champion on the issue, Sir Eric Pickles, attending last week’s summit as part of the UK delegation.
“There are many other ways in which we can collaborate with other governments and with the wider open source community,” Stewart says in the blog. “We’re looking forward to continued conversations with the other governments, foundations, companies and NGOs that took part in the sessions.”