6. The Government’s policy is as follows:
1. Open Source Software The Government will actively and fairly consider open source solutions alongside proprietary ones in making procurement decisions,
2. Procurement decisions will be made on the basis on the best value for money solution to the business requirement, taking account of total lifetime cost of ownership of the solution, including exit and transition costs, after ensuring that solutions fulfil minimum and essential capability, security, scalability, transferability, support and manageability requirements.
3. The Government will expect those putting forward IT solutions to develop where necessary a suitable mix of open source and proprietary products to ensure that the best possible overall solution can be considered.
4. Where there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products, open source will be selected on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility.
5. Non–Open Source Software The Government will, wherever possible, avoid becoming locked in to proprietary software. In particular it will take exit, rebid and rebuild costs into account in procurement decisions and will require those proposing proprietary software to specify how exit would be achieved.
6. Where non open source products need to be purchased, Government will expect licences to be available for all public sector use and for licences already purchased to be transferable within the public sector without further cost or limitation. The Government will where appropriate seek pan-government agreements with software suppliers which ensure that government is treated as a single entity for the purposes of volume discounts and transferability of licences.
7. Open Standards The Government will use open standards in its procurement specifications and require solutions to comply with open standards. The Government will support the development of open standards and specifications.
8. Re–Use The Government will look to secure full rights to bespoke software code or customisations of commercial off the shelf products it procures, so as to enable straightforward re-use elsewhere in the public sector. Where appropriate, general purpose software developed for government will be released on an open source basis.
9. Where the public sector already owns a system, design or architecture the Government will expect it to be reused and that commercial arrangements will recognise this. Where new development is proposed, suppliers will be required to warrant that they have not developed or produced something comparable, in whole or in part, for the public sector in the past, or where they have, to show how this is reflected in reduced costs, risks and timescale.
10. When suppliers are proposing a third party product there should be full price transparency. If there is a pan–Government agreement there should be the option to source through this where doing so would maximise overall public sector value. The Government will expect to be charged only the cost the supplier incurs unless the supplier can clearly and transparently provide evidence of the additional value created.