The Adoption of Technology Open Standards Policy by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By Charles Schweik and Lucia N. Miller
Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
This case discusses the adoption of an Information Technology (IT) Open Standards Policy by the Commonwealth of MA during the administration of Governor Mitt Romney. It details the political and administrative process of adopting and implementing an IT architecture to carry the Commonwealth forward into the 21st century and achieve operational, economic, and political objectives. It explores and explains the key IT procurement policy considerations of open standards, total cost of ownership, and key (and often misunderstood) distinctions between free/libre and open source, commercial and proprietary software and the challenges of vendor lock-in. These broad based IT concepts form the foundation of the new era of open government in the digital age reflected in the Obama Administration Open Government Initiative and the corresponding federal mandate to establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.
Download case (pdf)