Many vendors have acclaimed Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) as a better way to design and build enterprise-wide software. While these claims may be true in the private sector, there is scant evidence in the literature for the same success in the public sector. The adoption of SOA as the dominant development paradigm within an organisation often requires significant organisational changes, which are difficult to achieve in the public sector, with its strict hierarchies and departmental independence. Indeed, many government departments are not ready to adopt this new paradigm. However, the literature does not provide a suitable SOA readiness framework for use in the public sector. This research proposes such a SOA readiness framework, based on Critical Success Factors associated with the three phases of a process model. The framework was tested in two case studies in the Malaysian government, and initial results validate the usefulness of the framework. © 2011 Mahshitah Abdul Manan & Peter Hyland.