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Government Open Source News
Courtesy of OpenSource.com

Transparent civic improvement with crowdfunding platform Neighbor.ly

There are two processes in the public sphere that we all depend on but that few of us really understand. And what's worse is that both are in trouble.

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U.S. Department of Labor applies Creative Commons license to all work created with $150M grant

Creative Commons (CC) actively works to support foundations, governments, IGOs, and other funders who create, adopt and implement open policies. We believe publicly funded resources should be openly licensed resources.

To support these and other emerging open policy efforts, CC is about to launch, with multiple global open organizations, an Open Policy Network and Institute for Open Leadership.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has led the way in using open policy requirements in solicitations for grant requirements first with its Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grants Program,

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The state of open source at the VA (Veterans Affairs)

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the second largest agency of the US federal government. It employs more than 280,000 people, and with an annual budget close to $150 billion it provides health care services to close to 8.7 million patients, and benefits to close to 23 million veterans.

The VA also operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities. And, the agency has been one of the most progressive ones in the federal goverment on adopting open source at multiple levels.

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UK government continues strong focus on open standards

A great deal of excitement has been generated by UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude's forceful announcement in late January that the UK government intends to mandate the adoption of compulsory document format standards in public administrations.

In the on-going struggle of policy makers seeking to break away from procurement practices that have led to proprietary lock-in, limited interoperability, and excessive costs, the UK government has signaled that they fully intend to level the playing field not by mandating a preference for free or re-used software as in Italy and France, but by mandating choice through the requirement of open standard document formats (not just .odf, but other open document standards too) in procurement.

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How to get started in civic hacking

What is civic hacking?

Seventy people gathered together one sunny Oakland afternoon to volunteer and improve their city. There were no rakes or yard tools normally seen at volunteer-day events though. No paint brushes, no trash bags, no canned soup bins. These seventy people were laden with laptops and were volunteering to improve the city’s website.

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The Benefit of Open Source

The Open Source model harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency to create high-quality, secure and easily integrated software at an accelerated pace and lower cost.

Primary benefits of open source software are choice, reliability, low-cost, security and faster deployment.