[Chtechcomm] Massachusetts Open Documents Standard

Terri Buckner tbuckner at ibiblio.org
Sat Dec 17 12:59:47 EST 2005

(Thanks to Alan Rimer for finding this!)

The State of Massachusetts has adopted an open documents policy and 
fought off several Microsoft challenges to their efforts. One observer 
notes that this isn't about Microsoft. It about "whose documents are 
they? Do the people of Massachusetts have the right to control their own 
documents? Does a governmental agency have the right to decide what 
software it wishes to use, particularly if it believes it can save 
money? If it does, then all the hue and cry is pointless. And the real 
issue, as Kriss pointed out, is the issue of sovereignty, and the very 
important issues of access and control not only now but also in the 
distant future."

State Policy
Issue Statement*
The Commonwealth must ensure that its investments in information 
technology result in systems that are sufficiently interoperable to meet 
the business requirements of its agencies and to effectively serve its 
constituencies. This policy addresses the importance of open standards 
compliance for IT investments in the Commonwealth. For the purpose of 
this policy, open standards is defined as follows:

/Open Standards/: Specifications for systems that are publicly available 
and are developed by an open community and affirmed by a standards body. 
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is an example of an open standard. Open 
standards imply that multiple vendors can compete directly based on the 
features and performance of their products. It also implies that the 
existing information technology solution is portable and that it can be 
removed and replaced with that of another vendor with minimal effort and 
without major interruption (see current version of the Enterprise 
Technical Reference Model).

FAQs from the state (lots on financing)

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