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Government must consider open-source software - ACT

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

ACT Leader David Seymour today called on the Government to take a new approach in its software procurement policies, allowing substantial savings to the taxpayer.

"A substantial number of civil servants could generate the same output using open source software and open document formats, instead of proprietary software like Microsoft Office," said Mr Seymour.

"Departments should see what functions government employees need in their software, then source software that fulfils those functions.

"Countless private businesses already use open-source software to achieve efficiencies and savings. There’s no reason we shouldn’t expect the same from our Government.

"The UK Government in 2014 made open document format their standard document format when they found that some £200 million had been spent by the public sector on Microsoft Office licences between 2010 and 2014.

"A back of the envelope calculation shows New Zealand could be spending as much as $52 million every four or five years for software functions that could be provided by free open-source software.

"With the savings made from this change alone, New Zealand could afford a flag referendum every two years."

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