Congressional Open Source Technology Caucus Launches

Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Jared Polis (D-CO) announced the formation of the Congressional Open Source Technology Caucus last week and are looking for other representatives to serve as founding members. This comes after a June announcement that open source software is now permitted in the House of Representatives.

According to a “Dear Colleague” letter soliciting new members:

The Open Source Caucus will serve as a bipartisan, informal group of Members dedicated to fostering understanding of the pivotal role open source technology plays in private sector innovation. The caucus will also promote discussion of how open source technology can be leveraged to improve the transparency and efficiency of government offices.

This is a welcome development. Reps. Farenthold and Polis are to be commended for finding new ways to use technology to make the government–and the Congress in particular–more efficient and transparent. The development of open source tools as part of a collaboration between the government and the public will enrich our democracy and allow policymakers to draw upon a deep well of technological expertise.