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11.19.13

Worldwide Adoption of FOSS in Public Services, Including Education and Healthcare

Posted in America, Australia, Free/Libre Software at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Government

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is increasingly being adopted by those whose budget comes from the public (through the state)

Federal agencies are said to be embracing more and more FOSS [1] and Australia follows a similar trajectory [2], realising that savings and quality through sharing and collaboration serve the public better. In education, which is also funded by taxpayers (and thus should serve the public), FOSS has new gains [3] and in healthcare too we see major signs of progress [4-6]. What makes the public sector so unique is that by definition it must serve the public interest, which typically means creating jobs for domestic developers, reducing spendings on unnecessary software, and giving back all the code to the public which paid for it. Every branch of the public sector should make FOSS obligatory, not just a recommended item.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Agencies Widen Open-Source Use

    Federal agencies, looking for new ways to lower their IT costs, are exploiting open-source software tools in a wider range of applications, not only to reduce software costs, but also to tighten network security, streamline operations, and reduce expenses in vetting applications and services.

  2. South Australia to test use of Joinup for sharing and re-use

    The South Australian Government is considering running a trial of the Joinup platform, hoping to use it as their internal sharing and collaboration platform, a spokesperson for the CIO confirmed today. According to Stephen Schmid, general manager of the Open Technology Foundation, the South Australian is also working towards federating the internal platform with Openray, a similar platform open to the public sector in Australia and New Zealand.

  3. Open hardware for education with littleBits library of electronic modules

    Littlebits is disrupting the open hardware space. It’s “an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun.” The company is the invention of Ayah Bdeir, an MIT graduate and TED senior fellow, and was founded in September 2011.

  4. Open source collaboration with VA betters VistA EHR security
  5. OpenEMR Free Hosting
  6. OSEHRA, VA reveal open source EHR security patching benefits

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the open source IT community have paired up to prove the benefits of fixing technical security flaws within an open source system. According to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) corporation, Georgia Tech graduate student Doug Mackey evaluated the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) EHR for a term project on computer security and found a substantial security vulnerability.

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