UK Cities Start Alliance On Sharing And Re-use

Gijs Hillenius | JoinUp | April 11, 2014

The London borough of Camden and the city of Bristol have launched the Open Systems Alliance, aiming to develop, share and re-use software solutions. The alliance was announced at the Open Source Open Standards Conference, in London last Thursday, by Camden's chief information officer, John Jackson. He is inviting other UK public administrations to join: "Let's work together to make our administrations digital by default, and open by design."

"The UK's public administrations are developing lots of software, why are we not sharing these? Let's start re-using our solutions", Jackson said. Several other councils have already expressed an interest in joining the alliance: "We will announce further partners in the weeks and months ahead.

Local authorities have common functions such as social care, housing and planning, Jackon explains. They share many of the same systems and they often face the same challenges. Despite this, most tend to operate in isolation, with minimal use of shared platforms and common processes. "ICT suppliers do little to unlock this, preferring instead to maximise revenues by selling solutions, developed and paid for by one council, to others."