Yes it’s certainly a debate that must be had. FOSS was never officially stopped at SITA. It started with a formal tasking via DPSA following from Cabinet’s FOSS POlicy.
It appears national government’s focus drifted in late 2000’s and so did SITA’s resulting in Arno Webb (FOSS Programme Office) contract not being renewed and those resources then just moving elsewhere.
The split away from DPSA for SITA has added complexity as it now falls under another Ministry. There has been a strong focus on MIOS interoperability to try to ensure interoperability between whatever is used.
What has happened within SITA is much the same as within Departments and we are also similar in that we have some technical resources that are still very pro-FOSS and get on with their own projects, but it does not mean that is what the organisation is also preaching.
I’d actually suggest we split that off into a separate topic of discussion as to how to go about it? A topic about re-establishing FOSS itself as determined by the FOSS Policy for government and who needs to be the leading players.
This topic was going to look at what scope and purpose this forum should cover (Government related or broader South Africa), and from that determine who should be stakeholders, what types of stakeholders would there be, etc. More the constitution and purpose of our gathering as it decides who must participate and what needs to be achieved.