The financial watchdog agency announced an ambitious open source policy today, and we couldn’t be more pleased at the news. The CFPB’s announcement post does a great job of explaining their rationale: open source makes innovation easier, lock-in harder, and delivers value to taxpayers both by keeping procurements competitive and making sure their outcomes can be broadly shared.
It wasn’t too long ago that government was scared of even using open source code, much less publishing its own. Its growing embrace by agencies like the CFPB and NASA is a testament to the hard work of organizations like Open Source for America. But it’s also reflective of a long-established US norm that’s only now being translated into the digital age: the federal government belongs to all of us. That’s why our country’s publications aren’t copyrighted; it should be why its code is freely licensed, too.
At any rate, it goes without saying that Sunlight loves open source technology — it’s something we believe in and enjoy using. It’s great to see that the CFPB feels the same way.