Policy paper

Open standards principles

Standards for software interoperability, data and document formats in government IT specifications.


Open Standards principles 2018

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Open Standards principles 2015

Open Standards principles 2012


The Open Standards principles are the government’s policy on open standards to make government IT more open, cheaper and better connected.

They were developed following the public consultation Open Standards: Open Opportunities - flexibility and efficiency in government IT which took place between February and June 2012.

In 2015 the policy remained the same. The document was updated to ensure that external links and references were correct.

In 2018 the policy remained the same. The language, structure, links and references of the document were updated.

Users are invited to comment on current challenges and how they could be solved with open standards.

Guidance (known as standards profiles) on how open standards should be implemented is published each time a challenge has been resolved.

Published 9 April 2013
Last updated 5 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. The structure, language, links and references have been updated.

  2. New release of principles

  3. Added link to challenges that have been resolved, resulting in published standard profiles.

  4. First published.