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Little by little Open Source increases its government...

The UK Cabinet Office has sanctioned Bristol City Council's use of open source software alongside its existing Microsoft software as part of an ongoing review of its desktop and emails systems.  Bristol originally announced its intentions in September 2010 but ran into a roadblock when it was discovered that only three email systems -- Lotus Notes, Novell Groupwise, and Microsoft Exchange -- are certified by CESG the cybersecurity arm of the UK intelligence services.  Using an unaccredited system could mean that Bristol City Council might fall afoul of security rules and be unable to process sensitive personal data and restricted government information.

However, at a meeting held on October 7 the Council was advised by Cabinet Office executives including Liam Maxwell, Director of ICT Futures and Bill McCluggage, Director of ICT policy that no security or accreditation issues exist that would prevent the evaluation and potential deployment of open source systems by the Council.  (http://bristolfutures.posterous.com/open-source-leadership-25814)

Even before the economic crisis consideration was being given to the economic benefits of using Open Source, but in recent months the noise surrounding this has become louder. Like a number of other coutnries in Europe, the UK has previously committed to using open source technologies, to using more smaller technology suppliers and as Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said in March "to end the oligopoly of big business supplying government IT by breaking down cotnracts into smaller, more flexible projects."

It must be said, however that a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the BBC found that most government departments still spend the majority of their IT budgets on software from the larger suppliers.  Perhaps the publicity given to the Bristol City Council case will motivate others to undertake a comparison between the various options.

FOSSUser October issue out

FOSSUser which aims to educate Sri Lankan FOSS community on what is going on in FOSS ecosystem has released their October issue which has been dedicated to Dennis Ritchie who is the creator of C programme language and many more.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 8, 2011) was an American computer scientist notable for developing C and for having influence on other programming languages, as well as operating systems such as Multics and Unix. He received the Turing Award in 1983 and the National Medal of Technology 1998 on April 21, 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007

ePay of SL Post wins the best FOSS application contest

Mr. R.Athiththan receives the award  by Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Director, Re-engineering Government Programme of ICTA

ePay automation system of the Department of Posts wins the Competition on Best Government Open Source Productivity tools and Applications conducted parallel to the FOSS4Gov conference held on 3th September 2011. The objective of the competition was to recognize and reward for the talent and creativity of government officers and thereby promoting the use of open source products while increasing the usage and awareness on open source software in public sector.

ePay automation system has been internally developed by the ICT officers to automate the payments captured at postal outlets. System is integrated with a Electronic Money Transfer Module and the system is in operation since January 2010. Currently system is used at 617 postal outlets island wide and nearly handles around 32,000 customers, 34,000 transactions worth of approximately Rs 43.5 million per day. The development team is planning to enhance the system to connect all sub post offices in Sri Lanka (3,500 outlets).

e-Pay was shortlisted for the World Mail Awards from Sri Lanka and it won the Most Commended Award at the World Mail Awards 2011, Brussels  under the Retail Projects category (http://www.mailawards.com/555/winners/retail-project/).


iParliament wins the First Runner Up Award

Mr. Mahesh Perera receives the award  by Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Director, Re-engineering Government Programme of ICTA

The Intranet Web Portal (also known as iParliament) of the Parliament of Sri Lanka became the 1st Runner-Up of the competition. It is an integrated approach to core activities in the Parliament and it has automated many functions in the the Parliament Secretariat. This in-house developed solution serves to different user categories to cater to the diverse information needs, including Members of Parliament, Management and Staff of the Parliament Secretariat. The main intention of the solution is to increase the transparency accountability, accessibility and effectiveness utilizing ICT. The system is being enhanced to serve more areas.

LMI website wins the Second Runner Up Award

Mr. M.P.S Wijesinha receives the award  by Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya, Director, Re-engineering Government Programme of ICTA

The Labour Market Information website of the Department of Manpower and Employment became the 2nd Runner-Up. It is the key approach of disseminating the labour market information collected and analyzed by the Manpower Planning, Development and Research Division of the Department of Manpower and Employment. This provides both history and present information with figures and charts. The information is useful for both government and private sector organizations, researchers and students.

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50,000 rural school children and members from Samurdhi beneficiary families being trained Under eDiriya Literacy drive in 8 provinces in the country (further details can be obtained from www.ediriya.lk). Training conducted by Nenasalas, Private sector training providers and School training centres. Course contains four modules which is covered with in a day. This video shows an Interview had with a teacher who delivered the training by using Hanthana Linux and Open Office In Maithreepala Senanayaka National School, Madawachchiya

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