SA govt officials meet to thrash out OSS progress

By   |  January 20, 2009

The South African State IT Agency’s (SITA) Free and Open Source Software Programme Office (FPO) will host the second annual chief information officers (CIO) workshop on February 24.

The one-day workshop will bring together all government IT decision makers to share ideas and experiences regarding FOSS implementation in government.

The South African government has actively promoted open source software in government and has an open source software strategy in place.

“This year’s meeting will evaluate progress since the February 2007 workshop and assess the effectiveness of existing strategies,” says Arno Webb, FPO programme manager. “It will reflect on progress, new developments, obstacles and experiences of the near-end financial year and reflect on strategies.”

“The success of FOSS migration depends on our stakeholders. Members of the Government IT Officers Council, and our stakeholders at large have a big role to play by influencing decisions to ensure that the FOSS policy is implemented in the respective government institutions,” says Webb.

Issues that will be discussed at the day-long workshop will include effective change management strategies, the status of government’s FOSS implementation, current trends and issues affecting FOSS implementation, and the future of FOSS in the country.

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3 Responses to “SA govt officials meet to thrash out OSS progress”

  1. Raoul
    January 21st, 2009 @ 9:33 am

    An interesting comment a friend of mine made on Sunday at church was this:

    “You know this new open source software that the goverment is using? Well the people don’t know how to use it. They are sent on a training course, but the training course is Microsoft-centric, and then they get back to their desks with a different program, and they don’t know how to use it.”

    So it sounds like OSS is getting in there, but the government is not checking to see that the courses they send folks on are OSS courses.

  2. Nkhumushe
    January 21st, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    The stakeholders do not seem to include the private sector?
    The GITOC, the SITA FOSS office and this conference do not seem to include any input and participation from the private sector, who are supposed to be implementors of FOSS technologies in government.
    According to this article, progress is supposed to be measured from 2007? What scorecard will be used to measure this progress, or what measurement instruments will be utilised?
    Are there other interim evaluation sessions that had occured between February 2007 and now? TWO years seems like a long time to wait before measuring a project.
    And when all is measured, who is the SITA FOSS office and the GITOC finally answerable to regarding the progress made and its quality thereof? Afterall migration to FOSS is government policy passed through a parliamentary memorandum. What repercussions are there for failure or unsatisfactory progress?

  3. Boycott Novell » Links 22/01/2009: HyperSpace-SplashTop Intersection, Obama Seeks Open Source
    January 22nd, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    […] SA govt officials meet to thrash out OSS progress The South African State IT Agency’s (SITA) Free and Open Source Software Programme Office (FPO) will host the second annual chief information officers (CIO) workshop on February 24. […]

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