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Posts Tagged ‘openoffice.org’
Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 15:04 - 21 Comments
news In a move which appears to reverse its previous approach based on Microsoft’s file formats, the Australian Government’s central IT decision-making agency appears to have decided that it will standardise its office documents on the Open Document Format going forward.
The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has been examining office file formats for several years, as part of what it terms its Common Operating Environment Policy, a document which contains a number of guidelines restricting how departments and agencies should allow users to access their desktops.
In January 2011, AGIMO had initially decided to standardise departments and agencies on Microsoft’s Office Open XML format, the format primarily used by Microsoft’s Office 2007 and 2010 suites. However, the move was greeted by a sea of criticism directed at the agency by online commenters, and consequently AGIMO decided to re-examine the choice.
Most alternative office suites cannot write documents in the standard. The ODF Alliance, which is supporting a rival format, has claimed the Office Open XML format was riddled with “Windows-platform dependencies” and essentially tied users to Microsoft Office, and some organisations, such as the National Archives of Australia, have picked the ODF standard instead in the long-term. AGIMO subsequently defended its decision, stating it had no vendor bias.
In a blog post in September 2012, AGIMO’s then-first assistant secretary of its Agency Services Division, John Sheridan, noted that following “robust discussion”, AGIMO had standardised on two standardised variants of Office Open XML.
However, in a new blog post yesterday, Sheridan — now the Federal Government’s whole of government chief technology officer — noted that a new review of the COE policy had come up with a draft requiring office productivity software used by Australian Government departments and agencies to support version 1.1 of ODF. In evaluating the choice, Sheridan said the Government had taken into account a number of factors.
Firstly, the CTO wrote, the adoption of ODF as “the preferred supported format” was consistent with the aims of the COE policy, namely to ensure that the policy was based on “common standards”, and that where practical, “open standards”. Continue…