De Amerikanen hopen belastingbetalers geld te kunnen besparen met open source-code doordat het wiel niet bij elke organisatie opnieuw uitgevonden hoeft te worden. Code die intern geproduceerd wordt moet op open standaarden worden gebouwd, zodat andere overheidsdiensten er ook gebruik van kunnen maken.

Tevens is er een plan dat stelt dat twintig procent van de producten open source geproduceerd moet worden, zodat iedere ontwikkelaar ermee aan de slag kan. "De slimste mensen binnen en buiten de overheid kunnen de code zien en verbeteren, en kunnen samen werken aan beveiligde en betrouwbare code", stelt de CIO van de Amerikaanse overheid Tony Scott.

In de nasleep van Snowden startte de Amerikaanse overheid met een nieuw actieplan om overheid transparanter te maken en dit project is een van de uitkomsten van het hernieuwde transparantieplan. De CIO vraagt nu input van overheidsdiensten om het plan verder te ontwikkelen aan de hand van deze vragen:

  • To what extent is the proposed pilot an effective means to fuel innovation, lower costs, benefit the public, and meet the operational and mission needs of covered agencies?
  • Would a different minimum percentage be more or less effective in achieving the goals above?
  • Would an "open source by default" approach that required all new Federal custom code to be released as OSS, subject to exceptions for things like national security, be more or less effective in achieving the goals above?
  • Is there an alternative approach that OMB should consider?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with implementing this type of pilot program? To what extent could this policy have an effect on the software development market? For example, could such a policy increase or decrease competition among vendors, dollar amounts bid on Federal contracts, or total life-cycle cost to the Federal Government? How could it impact new products developed or transparency in quality of vendor-produced code?
  • What metrics should be used to determine the impact and effectiveness of the pilot proposed in this draft policy, and of an open source policy more generally?
  • What opportunities and challenges exist in Government-wide adoption of an open source policy?
  • How broadly should an open source policy apply across the Government? Would a focus on particular agencies be more or less effective?
  • This policy addresses custom code that is created by Federal Government employees as well as custom code that is Federally-procured. To what extent would it be appropriate and desirable for aspects of this draft policy to be applied in the context of Federal grants and cooperative agreements?
  • How can the policy achieve its objectives for code that is developed with Government funds while at the same time enabling Federal agencies to select suitable software solutions on a case-by-case basis to meet the particular operational and mission needs of the agency? How should agencies consider factors such as performance, total life-cycle cost of ownership, security and privacy protections, interoperability, ability to share or reuse, resources required to later switch vendors, and availability of support?