**The following post is cross-posted from Jeni’s blog – [http://www.jenitennison.com/blog/](http://www.jenitennison.com/blog/)**
Over the last few months, the UK Government has been running a [consultation on its Open Standards policy](http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/). The outcome of this consultation is incredibly important not only for organisations and individuals who want to work with government but also because of its potential knock-on effects on the publication of Open Data and the use of Open Source software within public sector organisations.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft, Qualcomm and other organisations who have a vested interest in keeping the UK Government locked in to their products are [responding vociferously to the consultation](http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/public-sector/2012/04/proprietary-lobby-triumphs-in.html). They risk not only losing business to smaller enterprises within the UK but also, if the policy is successfully adopted here, in other countries in Europe and internationally that follow suit.
If we want our Government to be Open — to use Open Standards, to publish Open Data, to adopt Open Source — then we must respond to this consultation in numbers.
There are three things that you can do:
1. **Respond to the consultation** — made even easier by [this response form](http://open.squarecows.com/) developed by Ric Harvey
2. **Attend the [events](http://consultation.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards/events/)** — these seem pretty full now, but try to get in if you can
3. **Spread the message** — blog and tweet and write to raise awareness of the importance and impact that this consultation could have
The consultation is quite long and there are a lot of questions to answer. In the hope of making this easier for everyone, I’ve published my response [over on my blog](http://www.jenitennison.com/blog/node/169). Please consider these responses public domain, and feel free to copy as much or as little as you like from them (though I recommend you omit the parts that are about my individual experience and substitute them with your own).
For extra background, read:
* [Of Microsoft, Netscape, Patents and Open Standards](http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/04/of-microsoft-netscape-patents-and-open-standards/index.htm) by Glyn Moody
* [Are open standards a closed barrier?](http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/2012/04/12/are-open-standards-a-closed-barrier/) by Linda Humphries
* [Open Standards at risk](http://dev.squarecows.com/2012/04/10/open-standards-at-risk/) by Ric Harvey