The financial meltdown has affected businesses around the globe. Businesses are facing extreme pressures to reduce overheads, rationalize costs, and consolidate operations. It is, therefore, decisive to scrutinize all of the options available to the business before making an investment into information technology infrastructure and select the best option within the available means towards growth and seizing long term opportunities. These considerations are even more important in government departments or agencies, where broader public good and the need to demonstrate responsible usage of taxpayer funds are always paramount. Open source technology presents itself as a viable alterative to proprietary software and offers best little opportunity cost and trade offs. Open source software technologies offer genuinely collaborative innovation, at a fraction of cost, and provide robust and secure solutions. This paper presents a study of the open source software penetration in Australian state governments departments, and puts into perspective the value that open source software can add to these departments. It examines why the adoption of OSS for e-government is successfully utilized elsewhere but not in Australia.