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Government procurement agency approves use of open source

The Portuguese government agency for public procurement has published a list of open source applications it deems suitable for use by public administrations.

The selected open source applications are now part of the official software catalogue published by Portugal’s procurement authority, the Agência Nacional de Compras Públicas, ANCP. Included on ANCP’s list are the database management system MySQL, content management system Alfresco, email server Scalix and server and desktop operating systems Red Hat Linux and Ubuntu Linux.

The procurement catalogue is a reference guide of qualified products, and is intended to make it easier for public administrations to select goods and services. It can be accessed on-line, however, only by public servants.

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ESOP, the Association of Portuguese open source service providers, calls the publication of the list a historic moment. In a statement published last week the group says: “For the first time in the history of public procurement in Portugal, the catalogue includes open source software. This will allow public administration to use quality software at greatly reduced prices.”

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According to the organisation, its members are able to offer services for all of the applications approved by ANCP. “We encourage all parts the administration to take note of the changes to the catalogue, and to start benefiting by using open source.” source.

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