To best serve the people of California, those that support state government services must be empowered with a technology ecosystem optimized for exponential collaboration, innovation and success.

‘Committed to improving’

The State of California facilitates this exponential ecosystem by empowering an open by default approach to government technology delivery.

As stated in the California Open Source and Code Reuse policy, released in July 2018:

"The California Department of Technology (CDT) is committed to improving the way Agencies/state entities acquire, build, and deliver information technology (IT) solutions, to better support cost efficiency, effectiveness, and the public’s experience with government programs … Enhanced reuse of custom-developed code across state government can have significant benefits for taxpayers, including decreasing duplicative costs for the same code and reducing vendor lock-in."

The value of open

By emphasizing the use and distribution of open technologies, the California open source policy:

  • Champions a civic culture of openness, transparency and accountability

  • Facilitates statewide technology collaboration

  • Enhances technology recruitment and talent development opportunities

  • Decreases redundant technology expenditures

  • Improves technology security

  • Eliminates vendor lock-in

  • Increases public reuse for exponential innovation potential

Open source government

California joins the U.S. Government and a growing number of government entities -- locally, nationally, globally -- adopting an open approach to technology, with the intent of efficiently and effectively delivering the critical services needed to the people of our state.

In July 2016, the U.S. Government released the Federal Source Code Policy to improve "the way Federal agencies buy, build, and deliver information technology (IT) and software solutions to better support cost efficiency, mission effectiveness, and the consumer experience with Government programs."

Additionally, the U.S. Government states:

"While the benefits of enhanced Federal custom-developed code reuse are significant, additional benefits can accrue when source code is also made available to the public as OSS. Making source code available as OSS can enable continual improvement of Federal custom-developed code projects as a result of a broader user community implementing the code for its own purposes and publishing improvements. This collaborative atmosphere can make it easier to conduct software peer review and security testing, to reuse existing solutions, and to share technical knowledge. Furthermore, vendors participating in or competing for future maintenance or enhancement can do so with full knowledge of the underlying source code."

In October 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest purchaser of technology in the world, as part of a more proactive effort to realize the exponential benefits of open source technologies, stated:

"The DoD must reform its processes, adopt agile acquisition and software development practices and more diligently contract for, license, mark, receive, and release our custom-developed source code. We must do this to create better technical outcomes for our users, improve our security posture, and foster a culture that will attract software talent to the Department."

As the U.S. Government is doing, California will serve as an example and leader in how local, state and national governments adopt open source technologies that provide the best value and service to the people they serve.

Open community

Community is critical to all successful open source initiatives, and Code California is dedicated to cultivating an authentic, supportive, open, collaborative network of digital government innovators.

As the Defense Department says on code.mil:

"We must more actively participate in the open source and free software communities if we are to truly reap the benefits of OSS."

The State of California will reap the benefits of open source through a proactive commitment to the technology community and the people it serves.

Coding California’s future

Through the open source community fostered by Code California, the government service providers of California have a vision and guidance that serves its people openly, into the future.