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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-plan-software-for-open-document-formats/defra-plan-office-productivity-tools-for-handling-open-document-formats
Cabinet Office announced the Open Document Format (ODF) policy for office productivity applications on 22 July 2014, which established ODF (1.2) as the standard for sharing editable documents across the public sector. PDF/A and HTML5 becomes the default for publishing documents for viewing.
The government departments Technology Leaders Network meeting, on 26 September 2014, called for publication of implementation plans.
See also related publication: Defra plan: open documents format publishing
2. Position summary
Existing desktop systems available to Defra employees, primarily Microsoft Office 2010, provide limited support for ODF but this requirement will be included as desktop infrastructure is upgraded. Short term support for ODF will be provided by ensuring access where there is a specific need to products supporting ODF.
Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 allows handling ODF (1.1) placing Defra in the “transition” phase of the policy (Section 5). Microsoft Office 2010 also allows saving existing documents to PDF/A file format.
Defra will fully meet the standard as software is refreshed in line with application life-cycles, taking into account direction provided by Technology Leaders Network.
3. Action plan
6 months from December 2014 we will:
- test open source software that provides full support for ODF (1.2) with a view to identifying and approving appropriate products for use by selective users. This is to provide an interim facility to meet occasional demand.
- test web based editing tools for use within our secure IT environment or a secure online service.
- develop an education plan for staff with assistance from Cabinet Office and OpenDoc Society.
4. Issues arising
We have not yet identified web based editing software that fully meets our requirements for ease of use, full fidelity editing, security and storage location which does not also entail upgrade of desktop software. Defra does not directly provision or purchase of software for the majority of our arm length bodies and this may constrain adoption of ODF standards.
5. Support for ODF in Defra and Defra agencies
The following organisations have recently been provided with, or are in process of receiving, Office 2010, which supports ODF (1.1):
- Core Defra
- Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
- Committee on Climate Change (CCC)
- Gangmasters Licencing Authority (GLA)
- Government Decontamination Service (GDS)
- Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
- Natural England (NE)