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Implementation of ODF by UK government


A press release by Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP on 22nd July suggested that Open standards will be selected for sharing and viewing government documents.

The selected standards, which are compatible with commonly used document applications are PDF/A or HTML for viewing government documents and ODF for sharing or collaborating government documents.

The open standards will be applicable to documents which are expected to be used across all the government bodies. These open formats will be implemented to make sure that the citizens or staff working in government can use the applications that meet their needs when they are viewing or working on documents together.

There are certain benefits that citizens would receive once open format is implemented:

  • Citizens or businesses wouldn’t require a specialist software to work with government documents
  • Government employees can share and work on the same format everywhere, which will reduce the problems of different formats

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.

" We had a huge response to this proposal, both from the standards community and the public as a whole. I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment. Their feedback made it clear just how important choosing the right way of publishing documents is. Using an open standard will mean people won’t have costs imposed on them just to view or work with information from government. It’s a big step forward, and I’m delighted we’re taking it.” Mike Bracken, Executive Director of the Government Digital Service


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