White House Releases Federal Source Code Policy To Help Government Agencies Go Open Source

dwheeler writes: The U.S. federal government just released a new Federal Source Code policy (PDF). For each of the next 3 years, at least 20 percent of custom-developed Federal source code is to be released as open-source software. Earlier this year, Tony Scott, Federal CIO of the U.S. government, wrote on the White House blog that the U.S. government “can save taxpayer dollars by avoiding duplicative custom software purchases and promote innovation and collaboration across Federal agencies.” Today, they released the Federal Source Code policy. TechCrunch reports: “The main requirement is that any new custom source code developed ‘by or for the Federal Government’ has to be made available for sharing and re-use by all Federal agencies. For example, this means that the TSA can have access to custom made software that was commissioned by the FBI. Considering there is probably a great deal of overlap in applications needed by certain branches of the Federal Government, this rule alone should save the government (and taxpayers) a great deal of money. In fact, the policy states that ‘ensuring Government-wide reuse rights for custom code that is developed using Federal funds has numerous benefits for American taxpayers.'”

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