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Open Standards in Government IT: An Academic Review of the Evidence

The Centre for Technology Policy Research - Bournemouth University‘s Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) has produced an independent study on the costs and benefits of introducing an open standards policy for software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT requirements.

Key findings of the review are:

  • Intellectual property rights (as they are applied to software standards) do not provide the right incentives for enabling interoperability.
  • Royalty bearing software standards (FRAND) come with potential restrictions that are difficult to justify.
  • For future IT procurement, the aim must be to encourage the use of royalty free (RF) standards to increase competition.
  • Although open standards offer important benefits, including avoiding lock-in and improving interoperability and competition, careful implementation is required to optimise these benefits.

The full report can be read here and the Bournemouth site is here.