The need to make government more open arose when a member of the public explained that users should not be expected to purchase new equipment or install new software just to read an official document.
According to the Government Technology Team, ODF is an important standard because it makes documents open to all and ensures there are no barriers or bias when services are provided to the public.
Whitehall has committed to moving to ODF 1.2 for all editable documents as a result of this and most Departments have published their implementation plans.
New files that are published on GOV.UK are now published as ODF and software suppliers are also rolling out better support for open formats in their products.
For many Departments, the move to ODF requires a big shift in their approach towards choosing office productivity solutions and so the new manual is designed to provide a balance of information to help technology leaders with technical, organisational and user needs.
GDS also claims that also the manual is aimed at government organisations, it should also be useful for anyone wanting to know how to implement ODF within their organisation.
“We’ve involved the OpenDocument community as well as industry in its creation. Later this month, we’ll be joining them in The Hague for an event that brings together developers working with ODF to help improve their products – ODF Plugfest 2015,” a GDS blog post explains.
“We’ll be talking to the community about what we’ve learned so far and about what we need them to work on to make things better for users,” it adds.