February 24, 2004

Tax to open up software policy

THE Australian Tax Office will adopt an open-source software policy for the first time, opening its Microsoft-dominated standard operating environment
(SOE) to products such as Linux.

ATO second commissioner Greg Farr said an internal review of open-source software - done in conjunction with the Gartner Group - concluded that the
agency should evaluate and use open-source software where appropriate.

Mr Farr told a Senate Estimates hearing last week that the review of the ATO's standard operating environment, carried out as part of the agency's
substantial Change Program, would include specific consideration of open-source platforms that were not previously considered.

The cost of the Change Program is estimated to be up to $800 million.

Among the Gartner Group's key findings were that the ATO should develop an open-source policy and review procurement processes to better enable the
evaluation, selection and sharing of open-source software.

Link: australianit.news.com.au


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