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Trusted Code Initiative (update 2017)

Trusted Code Initiative

A Strategic Plan to Increase

Operational Efficiency and Aggregate Value

of Government Open Source Software Resources

A concept paper prepared by the Open Technology Center

April 2017


The Trusted Code Initiative: A Strategic Plan to Increase Operational Efficiency and Aggregate Value of Government Open Source Software Resources

Open source software is a disruptive technology that offers technical, administrative and economic benefits to public and private sector IT environments. These include: cost effectiveness; unrestricted access to source code; flexibility to manage and modify the code base without penalty or fee; and the right to unlimited distribution. While these benefits are realized in both IT environments, the intrinsic value, operational priority, and significance of results are markedly different in each sector.

The Trusted Code Initiative seeks to enable Federal Government stakeholders to clearly define, administer and measure actual technical, administrative and economic benefits through the use of open source software technologies. To achieve this goal, the Trusted Code Initiative presents a vision and detailed plan to establish an independent, self-sustaining, nonprofit foundation to administer program operations and serve as facilitator and liaison between participating program stakeholders and the vast network of public and private sector communities of interest and subject matter experts whose participation and mutual benefit is critical to the collective success.

The Trusted Code Initiative is a strategy derived from nearly 20 years experience working as a leader in efforts to facilitate the adoption of open source software within Federal IT systems. The strength of this approach is not based on expectations of dramatic change in government policy or processes or rely on the development of a breakout technology, even though the process creates a fertile environment for such to take place. The success of this plan is based on the ability of key government stakeholders and program staff to collaboratively identify, support and efficiently execute the recurring process of securing government compliance requirements for a targeted set of open source software resources that provide acceptable, mutual benefit to the sponsors as well as those who utilize and support the Federal Government Enterprise.

Copyright 2013, Updated 2017 Open Technology Center