ODF Alliance Hails Top International Standards Body's Approval of OpenDocument Format

May 03, 2006, 01:00 ET from ODF Alliance

    WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF
 Alliance), a broad cross-section of associations, academic institutions and
 industry dedicated to solving the problem of improving access and retrieval
 of electronic government documents, today congratulated the International
 Organization for Standardization (ISO) for its sweeping approval of the
 OpenDocument Format as an international standard.
     Since its launch in early March, the ODF Alliance has grown to over 150
 members worldwide. The Alliance was created to resolve the problem of
 governments' and their constituents' limited ability to access, retrieve
 and use critical records, information and documents in the future. To
 enable the public sector to have greater control over and direct management
 of their own records, information and documents, the ODF Alliance seeks to
 promote and advance the use of OpenDocument Format (ODF). ODF enables the
 retrieval of information and exchange of documents without regard to the
 application or platform in which the document was created -- both now and
 in the future.
     "Approval of the OpenDocument Format by ISO marks an important
 milestone in the effort to help governments solve the very real problem of
 finding a better way to preserve, access and control their documents now
 and in the future," said Marino Marcich, Executive Director of the ODF
 Alliance. "There's no doubt that this broad vote of support will serve as a
 springboard for adoption and use of ODF around the world. At the same time,
 it also represents a milestone for the ODF Alliance, which in just weeks
 has seen a groundswell of support and continues to grow everyday."
     The OpenDocument Format emerged from work done at the open source
 OpenOffice.org project. This work was later submitted to, and further
 developed at, OASIS, where it was accepted as an official OASIS standard in
 May 2005. The six-month approval ballot for its adoption as a standard by
 the International Standards Organization and the International
 Electrotechnical Commission ended on May 1.
     In May 2004, the then European Commission's IDA (Interchange of Data
 between Administrations) Management Committee "TAC" had publicly encouraged
 OASIS to submit the OASIS ODF standard to ISO once it had completed its
 work on the standard. The ODF Alliance believes that approval of ODF by the
 ISO standards body as an international standard will thus have a
 particularly strong impact in Europe where ISO standards enjoy official
 recognition under European Union Directives.
     In related news, the ODF Alliance also applauded the "Regional Open ICT
 Ecosystem" Conference currently convening in Bangkok. Attended by a number
 of Asian governments, this conference (organized by the United Nations'
 Asia- Pacific Development Information Programme, and hosted by Thailand's
 government) brings together experts, executives, and policy makers from
 government, business and academia. Within it, ODF is being discussed as a
 vehicle for universally compatible, innovative and cost effective
 technology used within governments.
     "The examples of the conference taking place right now in Asia and the
 positive ISO vote clearly demonstrate the momentum behind the OpenDocument
 Format," added Marcich. "The ODF Alliance intends to build on this
 successful vote by working with governments around the world to adopt the
 OpenDocument Format. We believe access to public records and essential
 services should never be restricted to users of a particular brand of
 software or computer platform."
     For more information about the ODF Alliance, please visit our web site
 at http://www.odfalliance.org.