14 December 2006
A group of MPs has accused a government agency and department of favouring proprietary software providers and obstructing the use of open-source software by schools.
Sixty-four MPs have signed an early day motion (EDM) that criticises an IT framework agreement by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta).
The EDM says: "This House… expresses concern that Becta and the DfES, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are denying schools the option of benefiting from free and open-source software."
The ICT Infrastructure Services Procurement Framework, launched in August, lists 16 suppliers that educational institutions can use without the need to advertise contracts.
Becta said it supported the principles of open-source software and recognised the value that large-scale deployment could bring.