"Since government has absolutely no faith in community development we have loaded the contract with sufficient margin to employ lots of people who will specifically maintain the code used in the project.
Which is precisely what any closed source developer has to do.
But by supporting this bid the government will make government maintained code available for free to any other enterprise that wants to use it and gain the benefit of any development they may choose to do to that code.
This eliminates duplication across the economy and makes the economy more efficient overall.
PS. I hope you none of you are using Android phones"
I'm not the sort of person who bids for government contracts, but to speculate, perhaps answering this question would mean deciding on which Linux distro to use and figuring out which maintenance contract they should buy. If the other software they'll be using is supported as part of the Linux distro, maybe that's enough?
There are many reasons, but the simplest is that the government just doesn't pay terribly well and tends to promote based on seniority rather than ability.
1. Subject area. If you want to work on pure science or on making the world a better place, then a career in a government research lab would be far more compatible with your dreams than work in the private sector would be.
2. Secure employment + good medical benefits. If you are supporting a family and have limited savings, then a lower-paying government job that won't terminate you unless you personally do something egregious becomes more attractive than a higher-paying private sector job that might terminate you tomorrow for reasons outside your knowledge or control. Doubly so if you know you (or your dependent) have an expensive medical issue that might affect you in a few years - knowledge that you will have a paycheck and you will have medical coverage can feel far more secure than hoping that you won't be between private sector jobs and Congress won't gut Obamacare.
My two cents.
"Government" is a concept that stands or falls by control, regulation and ownership, or lack thereoff.
All characteristics that naturally go the opposite direction compared to the inherit nature off open source or it's ideal envisionment.
More realistically, one can't deny the power money (profit) has to motivate and maintain a service. In practise this tends to almost naturally lead to a company wanting to hold rights to their products "secrets" and/or try to sell for as much as they can get away with.
This is why open source is treated like a leper: there is no one to call or the support is so disparate that it's hopeless.
Solve the problems that lead them to making those decisions.
That's the recipe I would follow.