We are a group set up in the UK under the overall body of Open Forum Europe - that lobbies for an open and competitive IT market. We are a UK based group working with the existing public policies in the UK with more focus on the public sector. In particular the catalyst for our creation was the publication of the Open Standards Principles.
The idea that Government should act with care in making technology choices so that it maintains freedom of choice for citizens and all others that deal with government and is focused in the needs of users rather than the bureaucracy seems obvious. Dealing with Government is unavoidable, so Government's impact on others as well as its own future procurement is a fundamental issue for the digital government, affecting suppliers, internal users and all who interact with any part of the public sector or those bodies it influences.
The Open Standards Principles are the clearest statement of what has been around since 2002, and in being well researched, properly consulted and crystal clear on scope and definition have lead to unprecedented concentration on actually implementing these basic but boring ideas that all too often get lost in the rush to the next project.
Who we are is hopefully, anyone that agrees with freedom of choice for citizens and users, based on the Open Standards principles and wants though freedoms preserved and spread, not only between central government but also the wider public sector, supporting local government interactions as well.
We have set up the group so that anyone can support us , as personal volunteer or as formal observer or representative from a host organisation whether government or corporate. For now we are running on voluntary in kind and monetary donations. So do please join in.
For now drop an email to Richard Archer for an invite to our activities as we are setting up our online presence and wider agenda.
Open Forum Europe is a not-for-profit industry organization which was originally launched in 2002 to accelerate and broaden the use of Open Source Software (OSS) among businesses, consumers and governments. OFE's role has since evolved and its primary role now is to promote the use of open standards in ICT as a means of achieving full openness and interoperability of computer systems throughout Europe. It continues to promote open source software, as well as openness more generally as part of a vision to facilitate open, competitive choice for IT users.