Policy paper

Open standards principles

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


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.

We regularly publish challenges on the Standards hub and invite users to respond with ideas about how these could be solved with open standards. When specific challenges have been resolved, we publish guidance (known as standards profiles) on how open standards should be implemented in those cases.