The UK is hoping to learn from Estonia’s progressive public sector IT strategies, having signed a new agreement to work with the Eastern European country on developing digital public services.

The Memorandum of Understanding has been established to allow for the free-flow of knowledge between the partner countries, with the aim of pooling capabilities in design, architecture and security of digital services.

The first stage of the initiative will tackle open standards, identity verification and open data.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is impressed with Estonia’s cost-efficiency. Relying heavily on open source software, only 0.1% of the country’s GDP is spent on software licenses.

Minister Maude describes Estonia as “a trailblazer in public sector ICT and cyber security”.

Government chief technology officer Liam Maxwell says the UK “will welcome participation from other countries in [the] future”.

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