The move comes just a month after the Cabinet Office published its Open Source Procurement Toolkit, which is intended to encourage the use of open source in the public sector.
The DWP's Mike Truran spoke about the initiative at the Datacenter Dynamics Convergence conference. Quoted in a report on ComputerWeekly, he explained that the department is committed to open source – in line with the coalition government's ICT strategy as set out by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude in March of this year. He stated: "If the pilot works we will take it forward."
As made clear in the toolkit published last month, cost savings from avoiding proprietary software are not the only motivation for the government to encourage the use of open source; another important criterion is to avoid vendor lock-in, encouraging competition and improving control over IT projects.