Continuous Integration And Deployment For Government Procurement
I was reading the Open by Default Portal Procurement Pilot for the Treasury Board of Canada, where section 6, Licensing states: “To support the objectives of the open government initiative, the Solution must be open source and licensed in accordance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology License (“MIT License”). Under the resulting contract, the Contractor will be required to deposit the Solution’s source code on the GitHub platform (https://github.com) – under the MIT License.”
This just seems like the way it should be for all government technology solutions. I’ve heard the naysayers in federal government say that proprietary software is the best route, but if it drives public infrastructure, in my opinion the code should be publicly available in this way. Honestly, code should be deployed at regular intervals throughout the development and deployment process, opening up the code to QA and security audits by the public, and 3rd parties. I hope this approach evolves into more of a continuous deployment and integration workflow when it comes to delivering software in government, where vendors have to plugin, open up their delivery cycles to more scrutiny, and leverage Github as the center of each procurement step from start to finish. Heck, let’s connect payments to each stop along the way.
I’m a proponent of this not just to make the delivery of government software more observable and accountable. I want this process out in the open to help other agencies learn from the journey. Tune into the process, and maybe reuse, build upon, and evolve existing solutions as part of their operations. I will keep an eye on what is going on up in Canada, when it comes to requiring vendors publish code to Github. I also know there are similar efforts in the U.S. and other countries which I’ll also start scratching at and learning more about. It is definitely a healthy pattern I’d like to see more of, and I will continue to invest time shining a light on any government taking a lead like Canada is.