The Australian Democrats, the Australian Labor Party, the Greens and the Liberal-National Coalition all gave favourable replies to OSIA's questions, but some seemed warmer than others.
For example, the Greens' policy is to encourage government use of Open Source software, and the Democrats previously introduced legislation requiring government departments to consider Open Source during the procurement process. Labor policy is that government tenders should not discriminate against open source, while the Coalition settles for "informed neutrality".
Similarly, the Democrats and the Greens support the use of open data formats for the exchange of information between government agencies and citizens and businesses. Labor would merely seek to encourage their use, and while the Coalition "does encourage the use of open standards for data interoperability between Government agencies" its reply did not mention their use for communicating with the rest of the community.
A tabulated version of the parties' responses to OSIA's questions is available from the OSIA web site.
"Open Source software delivers excellent value-for-money in government procurement and is an essential building block for Australia's future ICT industry," said OSIA director Arjen Lentz. "We therefore commend all the major parties for their support of Open Source software and the Open Source software industry and the role they will play in Australia's future."
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.