We recently published the Public Sector Remix review of other government's open source policy. One of the government's we looked at was Malaysia. You can follow that country's open source progress on the "Accelerated Adoption for Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software (OSS) Program" website.
"When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company’s technology to access government information. No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first." — Neelie Kroes, European Union Competition Commissioner
Computerword New Zealand are running a review of the situation now that software will be excluded in the Patent Bill. The article describes the use of software patents by New Zealand companies, how the exclusion will eliminate risk for these companies, and how software companies will still rely on copyright to protect their intellectual property.
Recently the State Services Commission released a Request for Proposal that specified that the solution should be open source. As a result there was some concern expressed. The NZOSS believes this approach will encourage a level playing field when it comes to offering software development and implementation services by ensuring that many companies will be available to offer software development and implementation services, rather than being locked into a single vendor.
The State Services Commission have released a Request for Proposal that specifies that the solution they are looking for will be an Open Source solution. As a consequence the SSC received various questions from vendors concerned they were being excluded. Statements in RFP's often specify specific products, usually because of business reasons such as leverage of existing software assets. The SSC has not replied to those questions on it's web site.
Jack Yan has approached the NZOSS asking if we can put our collective heads together and come up with the a FOSS friendly strategy for Wellington. Jack is one of the candidates running in this year's Wellington Mayoral elections (see http://jackyanformayor.org/).