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Jury still out on govt document standards

ZDNet Australia - The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is still undecided on whether it needs to mandate the support of ODF alongside Office Open XML as an alternative document format in agencies.

When the government released the first draft of its whole-of-government Common Operating Environment (COE) document — designed to standardise government IT use for security and interoperability — a row broke out over AGIMO's decision to standardise government agencies onto a Microsoft-centric document standard known as Office Open XML. The open-source community highlighted that alternative office suites like Open Office can't write documents in the Office Open XML format, which would exclude them from use in government as the sole office suite.

AGIMO reopened the issue for comment last January and received a flood of responses, many critical of the government's decision to select a Microsoft-dependent document format.

In the second draft of its whole-of-government COE document, released today, AGIMO said that the final document standard to be used across government was still "to be decided".