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Govt agencies prefer open source software: AGIMO

Australia: The Australian Government Information Office (AGIMO) reported a healthy level of open source software (OSS) use within government agencies during the past year. According to Brian Catto, Director of architecture and emerging technologies at AGIMO, the agency’s annual ICT survey of agencies created under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 found that almost 60 agencies were using open source software, with more than 750 open source implementations and 200 products in use.
“Open source is being used on many platforms including Windows, Solaris, Unix and Mac. Applications being used include Web platforms, Apache; operating systems, Linux; geospatial applications, GeoNetwork; and Web browsers, Firefox,” Catto said at the recent Open Source Developers Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Citing a National Open Source Software Observatory report on the use of open source software, Catto said Australia stood out for its OSS activity, particularly the participation of its communities on both a national and international level.
The observation follows a shift in the stance of the Australian Government to open source software from one of ‘informed neutrality’ to ‘active consideration’ earlier this year. 
In January, AGIMO released its open source software principles — the first major update since 2005 — with the goal of to strengthen the consideration of open source by agencies in their software procurements.
Looking towards 2012, Catto said AGIMO would continue to monitor OSS usage within government and would review the effectiveness of the new policy in the first half of 2012.
Source: www.techworld.com.au