How to Get Your City to Pass an Open Government Policy

Jason Hibbets | | February 7, 2012

Today, the Raleigh City Council passed an Open Source Government Resolution, unanimously, promoting the use of open source software and open data. The resolution includes language that puts open source software on the same playing field as proprietary software in the procurement process. It also establishes an open data catalog to house data available from the city.

Raleigh isn’t the first city to pass an open government policy. But it may be the first to provide a blueprint that can help other cities pass their own open initiatives more quickly.

The biggest barrier is making sure elected officials know what open source is. And I’m not talking about how software gets made using the open source development model, or the open source business or license structure. I’m talking about the fundamentals of open source: transparency, collaboration, meritocracy, and rapid prototyping. Sometimes public policy can be lacking even the basics--like sharing...