The open standards selected for sharing and viewing government documents have been announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
The standards set out the document file formats that are expected to be used across all government bodies. Government will begin using open formats that will ensure that citizens and people working in government can use the applications that best meet their needs when they are viewing or working on documents together.
When departments have adopted these open standards:
- citizens, businesses and voluntary organisations will no longer need specialist software to open or work with government documents
- people working in government will be able to share and work with documents in the same format, reducing problems when they move between formats
- government organisations will be able to choose the most suitable and cost effective applications, knowing their documents will work for people inside and outside of government
The selected standards, which are compatible with commonly used document applications, are:
- PDF/A or HTML for viewing government documents
- Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents
The move supports the government’s policy to create a level playing field for suppliers of all sizes, with its digital by default agenda on track to make cumulative savings of £1.2 billion in this Parliament for citizens, businesses and taxpayers.See the full announcement from the UK Cabinet Office.