"Open standards for software and systems will reduce costs and enable us to provide better public services. We want to get this right." – Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Feb 2012
"We will create a level playing field for open source IT by implementing open standards across government IT systems." – Conservative Technology Manifesto, 2010
Public sector reform is an extensive and ambitious agenda. And technology has a central role to play: software, systems and data touch every part of the public sector, from national tax and welfare systems, through government agencies and local authorities, all the way down to individual schools and hospitals.
The Government is currently consulting on its open standards policy. Technology standards are important to ensure interoperability; open standards are often cited as ways to promote innovation and avoid lock-in. Proponents of open standards point to a range of benefits – from saving money to areas as diverse as revitalising the use of ICT in schools; making it easier for public sector bodies to support local businesses; enhancing digital inclusion via low-cost internet access; and enabling more reuse before hardware is sent to landfill.
At this event we will discuss the role of open standards in UK public policy. How much potential is there for open standards to power public sector reform, catalyse competition and contribute to economic growth? If open standards in the public sector are a policy goal, then what will it take to deliver change?
- (CHAIR) Chris Yiu | Head of the Digital Government Unit at Policy Exchange
- Adam Afriyie MP | Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation, 2007-2010 | Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and President of the Conservative Technology Forum
- Gerry Gavigan | Chair of the Open Source Consortium
- Dr Chris Francis | Technical Relations, IBM
- Stephen Mutkoski | Worldwide Policy Director, International Government Affairs, Microsoft
- Phil Archer | Technology and Society, W3C