Open source software policy - REPEALED (Knowledge base)


This policy was repealed on 10 October 2019

This policy was replaced by the Open source software guideline.

Final | October 2009 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL | QGCIO


This QGEA Policy states the Queensland Government’s direction in regards to Open Source Software (OSS), as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

This policy recognises that OSS products are becoming increasingly available, with a range of mature supported products that are suitable for use by agencies to achieve business outcomes.


The policy applies to all open source software in the Application and Technology layers of the Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA).

It applies to all Queensland Government budget funded agencies.

Policy statement

The Policy endorses the controlled use of appropriately licensed OSS products within Queensland Government and the controlled release of Queensland Government owned software as OSS.

Policy benefits

The expected benefits of Queensland Government supporting the use of OSS products and software development across Government, and in industry-supplied software applications, include that:

  • Acceptance and development of OSS products will encourage competition with proprietary products and provide potential economic and business benefits
  • Opening up the Australian software industry will make it easier for all companies to bid for government contracts
  • Open software, and its ability to be modified, will allow tailor-made specialist applications
  • OSS will help reduce the high cost of proprietary software packages, through the elimination and/or reduction of licence fees.

Policy requirements

Policy requirement 1: OSS products acquired in accordance with procurement requirements

All acquisition of OSS products must be in accordance with State Procurement Policy (SPP) requirements and Information Standard 13 ICT Procurement.

Policy requirement 2: Adherence to Licence Conditions

All OSS use, modification and distribution must be in accordance with its licence conditions.

Policy requirement 3: No OSS alternatives to mandated applications

Where specific applications are mandated for whole-of-Government use, (e.g. SAP Financial Management solution), OSS alternative products must not be implemented.

Policy requirement 4: Conditions for release of Queensland Government software as OSS

A business assessment, including legal considerations, must be undertaken prior to any Queensland Government owned software being contributed or released as open source. Copyright in any such software should be assigned to the Queensland Government. Any Queensland Government initiated open source software should be released under the GPL 3.0 licence.


Implementation of all requirements must be completed in accordance with the Open Source Software QGEA position paper.

Issue and review

Version: v1.0.0

This QGEA policy is published within the QGEA which is administered by the Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO). It was developed by the QGCIO and approved by the Queensland Government Chief Information Officer on 31 October 2009.

Last Reviewed: 01 October 2010