Minutes and Recording from the Community Call on OMB Open Source Policy - March 17, 2016

Thanks to those who attend the OMB Open Source Policy call.  For those who missed the meeting, here are the slides and recording.


Policy Objectives:

1.  Provide guidance to agencies on software procurement considerations that must be made prior to acquiring any custom-developed software
Jack Taylor and Peter Levin – Economic model of open source works.  Quality standards need not be lowered; open source does not necessary mean cheaper price, instead, better value can be achieved.
Brian Book – Adoption of interoperability standards need to be defined at contracting level. Use of open source tools such as Model Driven Health Tool can ease standards implementation issues due to variability of interpretation of standards. 
Noam Artz – Leveraging existing open source products instead of re-inventing.

2.  Establish policy requirements for Government-wide source code receipt and reuse 
Rick Avila – Source code is only a small part of the open source contribution – its community members, data, tests, bug reports, are part of a large set of things that keep open source working effectively.  Code release is not just throw over the wall; rather it requires interfaces to multiple systems.
Seong Ki Mun – A government agency that wants to reuse software from another agency will likely rely on contractor support; this is business friendly.  For a DoD perspective, Seong Ki suggested a reference by David Wheeler, Open Source FAQ that covered many of the same issues mentioned in the OMB document.

3. Establish requirements for releasing code in the public domain or as OSS
Rick Avila – For a successful collaborative software development between government and open source community, the engagement turnaround time – time required to release code from government to open source, needs to be in millisecond instead of weeks.  The long lag time is the result of the many steps required to redact the code prior to releasing.  Rick suggested that one way to reduce the lag is to modernize the codebase so that the redaction would no longer be an impediment.
Peter Levine – Software attribution should not be required from government developers.

4. Provide instructions and support to facilitate implementation of this policy
Seong Ki – Suggest a community effort to develop training services to help government agency develop policies and procedures for implementing the OMB policy within the 90 days after the issuance of the OMB policy.
Andrew Aiken – Is the OMB policy geared toward the acquisition/procurement or development/engineering?  Seong Ki believes it is for the former.  Andrew Aiken suggest that the instruction needs to address the procurement, legal, and development/engineering separately.  Do not present a set of changes that are too overwhelming.

Response Strategy  (3 Weeks to complete)
•    Individual Responses Encouraged
•    The More Responses, the Better

We Need Volunteers by Next Week for
•    FAR and Acquisition
•    OS License
•    Operational – Community - Instructions
•    Business Friendliness
•    Other(s)

Please use the OMB Open Source Policy Work Group site to provide inputs and collaborate on the draft response.  To subscribe, please sign up (you must be an OSEHRA Associate member (free membership)).

Future Calls (1 PM EDT, Thursday)
•    Thursday 24 March
•    Thursday 31 March
•    Thursday 7 April – Last Call
•    Monday 11 April – Due Date for Comments

Webex url: https://osehra.webex.com/osehra/onstage/g.php?MTID=e421d9648ed46cb9ffc2c3cd29f103a6f   
Call-in Number: 
1-650-479-3207,  Access code: 666 433 175