Ryan Paul writes in ars technica today that the UK government is ramping up its open source software in an effort to cut costs and make bureaucracy more efficient. Tom Watson, who is the digital engagement minister cites "the collaborative development model and the high potential for code reuse" as driving the decision.

"Open Source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades: it has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations," Watson wrote in the report. "It has shown how giant corporations themselves, and Governments, can become more innovative, more agile and more cost-effective by building on the fruits of community work."

According to a new policy, the procurement process will now favor open source solutions over proprietary ones in cases where other relevant factors are equal.

Will open source go global?

According to ars technica, "the budgetary constraints imposed by the current economic downturn give governments a big reason to look at open source solutions which have the potential to reduce costs and increase flexibility. We have seen similar moves recently from major governments around the world.

Governments in Asia and South America are already enthusiastically embracing open source technology. Europe and North America are beginning to move in that direction, too. The government of Canada also recently began the process of investigating the advantages of emphasizing open source software in its own procurement policies."

But does open-source software post a security threat? Email your ideas to sean@bigthink.com.