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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to share its software code with the public for any development project it or its contractors build at no charge, the agency said in its Open Source Code Policy released Friday.

“Open-source software works because it enables people from around the world to share their contributions with each other,” wrote Matthew Burton of the CFPB’s Office of the Chief Information Officer on the agency’s blog. “The CFPB has benefited tremendously from other people’s efforts, so it’s only right that we give back to the community by sharing our work with others.”

Burton said the CFPB will share its code for three reasons:

  • First, it is the right thing to do: the Bureau will use public dollars to create the source code, so the public should have access to that creation.
  • Second, it gives the public a window into how a government agency conducts its business. Our job is to protect consumers and to regulate financial institutions, and every citizen deserves to know exactly how we perform those missions.
  • Third, code sharing makes our products better. By letting the development community propose modifications , our software will become more stable, more secure, and more powerful with less time and expense from our team. Sharing our code positions us to maintain a technological pace that would otherwise be impossible for a government agency.

The policy said the code will be shared on the open source repository website GitHub except were it holds sensitive details that put the bureau at risk for security breaches.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Source Code Policy