Police considers moving to open source

OSOR.euThe Polish Police force wants to increase its use of free and open source software in order to cut costs, announces Andrzej Trela, Deputy Chief of Police and responsible for logistics, in an interview in the Police force’s monthly newsletter, published on 15 January.

The Deputy Chief expects moving to open source will not be that difficult. There are only slight variations between proprietary and open source applications and these will be clear to the vast majority of users, he says. “Too often we think we need these proprietary applications, even though we only use about five percent of all that they can do.”

Replacing proprietary software by open source will result in savings on licences, he says.

The police deputy also wants to reduce the amount of money spent on maintenance. “We spend far to much on repairs and maintenance, and too little on development.”

The latter remark suggests to the Polish Foundation on Free and Open Source (Fwioo), that the police might use the savings on proprietary licences to pay for innovation. The Fwioo mentions the interview on the website of their project on Transparent and Correct Public IT Tenders (PPIT).

It is not just the Polish police force that is eyeing the possibilities of open source. Also in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom the police are studying how to make use of this type of software.

In France and Sweden, the police are farther ahead. In France, the Gendarmerie in 2004 began replacing all of its 90,000 desktops with this type of software, a move that it says will help it to save millions of euro. In Sweden, the National Police Board (SNPB) expects to save some twenty million euro over the next few years, by switching to open source application servers, open source database servers and standard computer server hardware. Original article.

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