GSA Says Open Source Comes First

Sonny Hashmi, the CIO of the GSA (General Services Administration, the agency of the US government that acquires goods and services for use by the government) published a blog this week expressing a preference for open source software.

“Simply put, any solution developed using taxpayer dollars should be in the taxpayer’s domain (open source). At GSA, we believe that all code we develop…should be shared under an open license so others may benefit from it. In addition, we will give priority to using open source software as we design [our] solutions.”

OK, technically the government can’t own copyrights unless the work is developed by a contractor and assigned to the government…but this is great news anyway, expressing a preference for using existing open source code, and making code developed with taxpayer dollars freely available to its citizens.

The blog also mentions “open, shared data” as a priority.