30 October 2019
Alfred Deeb

Our commitment to open source and open government

We’re committed to open source.
We’re committed to open government.
We’re committed to the benefits open source can deliver to organisations and to government.

We’re committed to open source because we believe in what it represents, which is much more than just great technology, much more than great architecture.
It represents open source.
It represents community.
It represents freedom.
It represents innovation.

Selfishly, it also represents something special, something personal — an opportunity to leave a legacy, to be a role model for my sons (read my blog Once I was 7 years old… for more on my personal beliefs and aspirations).

We demonstrate our commitment to open source and open government in many different ways. For example, our commitment to open source for open government can be seen in our strong partnership with the Department of Finance to deliver the whole-of-government digital platform, GovCMS and our strong partnership with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet to deliver Single Digital Presence.

Our commitment to open government is also demonstrated by our focus on open data for data.vic and data.qld, and through the production of our new blog series Open Data Insights. Our other blog series, Digital Transformation in Government (DTIG), is also part of our commitment to digital government and open government.

Our pledge

For any open source project we have the privilege of delivering, we’ll take 20% off any new and/or enhanced features (e.g. modules or themes) we build for your organisation/agency and contribute back to the relevant open source community.

Below are the basic guidelines around Salsa’s 20% giveback pledge:

  1. Time tracked against an individual story (development, testing and remediation)

  2. Upon acceptance by the community, 20% of total time will be credited to the organisation/agency

  3. The organisation/agency can choose to use the time within the project or outside the project (within 12 months)

  4. The organisation/agency decides which contributions are made

In this way, both Salsa and your organisation/agency are giving back to the open source community and taking part in the open source movement.

All organisations/agencies that have participated in this program will be listed on our exclusive giveback register as well as being listed as one of the contributors on

Why Salsa?

Salsa Digital’s 16-year legacy in open source has evolved to a more recent focus in becoming a strong contributor to open source for open government.

Our focus spreads across four key pillars:

  1. Open content management systems (open CMSs): Enabling government to deliver great digital content and great digital services in a way that’s easy and intuitive to access and digest.

  2. Open data: Enabling government to easily open, manage and maintain their datasets to promote greater transparency and encourage co-production with citizens to interpret data and build solutions in innovative and visual ways. To make complex and difficult datasets easy to digest, quickly.

  3. Open design: Enabling government to share and access open design patterns and artefacts, improve upon them, and then contribute them back to ultimately ensure better citizen user experiences.

  4. Open platform: A new paradigm shift for government and industry. Salsa Digital and together with the Victorian Government brought the very first fully open source hosting platform to Australia. The second-generation GovCMS open platform was also launched. For the first time this makes the entire technology stack open source. So what? Open platform offers all the same benefits we know, understand and appreciate of open source for CMS — non-proprietary, no vendor lock-in, technology promoting global collaboration and innovation at lower costs. The benefits speak for themselves.

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