OSFA: Open Source Key to ‘Shared First’


The open source software in government advocacy group Open Source for America has issued a statement of support for U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s “Shared First” initiative that calls for federal agencies to leverage best practices and existing technology resources to realize costs savings and increased efficiencies.

OSFA also requested that the Office of Management and Budget explicitly mention open source software as a recommended method for overcoming barriers to broad agency adoption of shared information technology services.

“We strongly support the Shared First policy, and believe that it is one of the best tools available to meet agencies’ current challenges,” wrote Red Hat U.S. Public Sector Chief Technology Strategist for Gunnar Hellekson on behalf of OSFA. “We look forward to working together with OMB and the implementing agencies to make the policy successful. We also believe that by encouraging agencies to open source their software, and to share that software with each other, we can together ensure that agencies are putting their existing budgets to their best and highest use.”


In his first public speech as CIO in October at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, Ca., Van Roekel launched the “Shared First” initiative, saying “we’re looking for opportunities to shift to commodity IT, leverage technology, procurement, and best practices across the whole of government, and build on existing investments rather than re-inventing the wheel.”

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