Saturday, October 10, 2009

Open Source Could Have Saved Ontario Hundreds of Millions | Slashdot

The McMaster University researchers claim their system could be rolled out for two percent of the billion-dollars-plus already spent on the project. The report itself (PDF) also makes note of the excessive consultation spending: "By 2008, the Ministry’s eHealth Program Branch had fewer than 30 full-time employees but was engaging more than 300 consultants, a number of whom held senior management positions."

Hopefully more and more of these studies will be done on big projects and over time people will learn to at least strongly consider open source options. Especially when taxpayer money is involved it seems flat-out wrong to not investigate the potential savings offered by open source.


Anonymous said...

Agreed with you here Matt. The issue with our government is that there is no balance in oversight. If you watch any of the RFP lists, most government contracts are sole source. There are few opportunities for consultants to recommend good solutions that are cost effective. If government modeled it's IT initiatives after non-profits I am certain there would be far less money spent!

Matthew Woodward said...

Sad that government itself isn't seen as a non-profit. ;-) Hopefully with the attempt to push for preferring open source solutions in government (which is happening at municipal and federal levels) this will change over time.Ultimately in any project the best solution needs to be selected, but "best" should incorporate all aspects of the project, a huge one of which is cost. If the end result is as good or better with open source solutions and the cost is substantially lower, there's no logical reason to spend a ton more money to wind up with the same end result.This will take time since throwing money at the problem is the way things have been done for so long, but it's nice to see it starting to change at least.