UK Public Sector Must Comply with Open Standards Principles
UK Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has announced that from 1 November all public sector bodies in the UK must comply with centrally established open standards principles. Acceptable standards are to be published at the Standards Hub, though currently that website does not seem to contain that information.
The Open Standards Principles have been developed following the public consultation ‘Open Standards: Open Opportunities – flexibility and efficiency in Government IT’ which took place from February to June 2012.
Minister Francis Maude said "Government must be better connected to the people it serves and partners who can work with it - especially small businesses, voluntary and community organisations. Having open information and software that can be used across government departments will result in lower licensing costs in government IT, and reduce the cost of lock-in to suppliers and products."
The basic rule is "comply or explain", meaning that not following standards requires an explanation and an exemption must be granted beforehand.
Open standards now apply to software interoperability, and data and document formats in government IT. Open standards are an important building block of open government data.