Liam Maxwell

The open source code that the government runs is one of Britain’s “great” exports, according to government CTO Liam Maxwell.

Maxwell told the Think Cloud for Government conference in London that the UK benefits from an exchange of knowledge by being open. Most of code is open source, allowing other countries to use it for their own government digital services.

A similar government site in New Zealand has adapted's basic design elements, saving time, money and resources, Maude said.

“Everything we do is open so everyone can see in. The reason behind that is we don’t feel we have a monopoly on wisdom. If we make things open, open source our materials, we will have a better long-term result by other people coming in with advice with the way they do it. We mean this nationally and internationally,” he said.

“We open source the code that we run. It’s one of the great exports.”

As a recent example, Maxwell referred to the agreement that the UK signed with Israel earlier this month to enable the two countries to work together to develop digital services within government. The New Zealand government is another UK partner. New Zealand has adapted's basic design elements to create its equivalent government website.

He said: “It makes a tremendous difference to the speed of progress, because as governments, we all do the same thing.”

Meanwhile, Maxwell reconfirmed that the government was on track to achieving more than £500 million in savings in IT this year.

“The savings for this year, which are coming out soon, in the summer, we’re quite confident they’ll be over £500 million this year,” he said.