The Italian Digital Agency has recommended that its government’s agencies consider Free Software alternatives before purchasing licenses for commercial software.
Recommendations like this tend to come from European governments, never from government agencies over here in our America, even though it will save a ton of money.
But a recommendation is one thing, abiding by it, is another. It’s all about who has the political capital to make people abide by government recommendation. According to a report first published by the Free Software Foundation Europe:
The document, titled “Guidelines on comparative evaluation [of software]”, sets out a detailed method which public bodies must follow to decide which software to use. They are required to look for suitable Free Software programs, or choose software developed by the public sector. Only if no suitable programs of these types are available may they consider acquiring non-free software.
“There is no excuse. All public administrations must opt for Free Software or re-use whenever possible”, says Carlo Piana, FSFE’s General Counsel, who participated in the committee that advised on the guideline. “Now Free Software and re-use are the norm, proprietary software the exception. This is the most advanced affirmative action in Europe so far. I’m so proud that Italy leads the way, for once”.
The complete article is available here.