COE review now complete
Thank you to everyone for their participation. There has been robust discussion both here and on other forums, providing some valuable information to consider during the next annual review of the COE policy.
Changes resulting from the 2011 review of the COE policy have been reviewed by the WofG COE Working Group and noted by the Chief Information Officer Committee (CIOC). Specifically, the policy has been updated to reflect the current preferred document file format to use for cross-government interoperability.
Based on a survey conducted in 2010, a large number of agencies representing the majority of the government desktop fleet signalled their intention to move to either Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 as part of their next upgrade. To support the interoperability of these office productivity suites and ensure that alternative non-Microsoft office productivity suites can also be utilised within government, the document format standards ECMA 376 1st edition and ISO/IEC 29500:2008 were chosen. While both Office 2007 SP2 and Office 2010 products are compliant with different standards, their basis in OOXML means the differences are minimal and documents can be shared between the two suites with little to no functionality loss, dependent on the content of the document. Adoption of both standards applicable to the OOXML format best meets at this time the intent of the standard, which is to mandate a file format that fully supports the primary office productivity suites used within government agencies.
As I have previously mentioned, the COE policy is reviewed annually. As new formal or informal standards evolve, they will be considered for inclusion in the policy where appropriate. The next annual review will commence in October 2012.