Mayor answers to London

Open source software

Question number0696/2010
Meeting date24/02/2010

Question by Darren Johnson

How are the GLA and functional bodies implementing the Government's open source action plan, recently re-issued by the Cabinet Office?

Answer by Boris Johnson (1st Term)


TfL acknowledges the potential for making significant savings, particularly if the Cabinet Office Open Source Action Plan is adopted successfully across the wider public sector. TfL eagerly awaits further direction as it emerges from Government.

In the meantime, TfL already adopts a policy of re-use across its entire information technology estate, recognising the Mayor’s policy of delivering the best value for money for Londoners.

With regard to open standards, TfL is leading a Europe-wide group defining geographical information system standards for transport organisations. TfL actively researches best practice and has already made a significant investment in open source software e.g. Linux.

Core GLA

The GLA has led the way in the use of Open Source Technology. Much of the back office infrastructure of City Hall and the entire web-systems infrastructure is built using this technology.

The GLA IT Unit assess technologies on their ability to meet open standards and offer value for money, an approach which has favoured open source solutions.

The new GLA web-site, the data store for London and the new climate change adaptation web-site have all been built entirely from open source software components.


The Agency is committed to using open source code in new procurements, however, the LDA has not implemented any open source software to this point. Most of the Agency’s software development over the past 2 years has built on proprietary applications already in use and this includes the Agency’s web development.

At this point the LDA is examining the possibility of converging on applications support with TfL.


Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.


Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Additional information provided on 2 March 2010


The MPA has achieved efficiencies from increased use of open source based solutions in recent years. As part of their ongoing programme of continuous improvement, they review opportunities for use of open source software. Achieving best value with open source software remains challenging due to the dimensions and nature of MPA business, as well as the environment it operates in.


LFEPA are currently implementing an open source software product, to be used for departmental planning purposes. They are fully committed to examining opportunities for the use of open source software where it can be demonstrated that this software provides the best value. However, they need to consider the implications of integrating such software into our infrastructure. LFEPA systems such as mobilising, HR and Finance rely upon a very high degree of integration. There will no doubt be opportunities for the introduction of open source software in the future and consideration of such will become a business as usual activity.

Main question

Darren Johnson