There are several simple ways that Open Government could encourage Open Source Software inside government, any one of which would go a long way:
1. Give departments the same incentives for releasing software under an Open Source license as they do for publishing Open Data. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/developers)
2. Publish a statement similar to the White House’s statement on Open Source that describes how Open Source Software is desirable for government.
3. Have a senior body in the Government of Canada state that, where possible, software developed inside government should be Open Source.
4. Include an Open Source Software option (maintained or developed in house) for major software Requests For Proposals (RFP). The proposal should take into consideration the added benefit of openly sharing the development with Canadians.
5. Recommend an Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license to use with software produced inside the Government of Canada. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Initiative)
6. Ensure that departments which produce software have access to the Intellectual Property professionals required to make the informed decisions regarding Open Source Software.
7. Work with interested parties inside the Government of Canada to produce guidelines or best practices for Open Source Software.
8. Encourage software developers in the Government of Canada to use existing open source software as much as possible to reduce costs and development time.
If you agree with one or more of these statements, please like this idea and leave a comment to let us know which ones you support.