Open Source activities and news from governments around the world.
Bill of Free Software (904-D-02) / Article 2 (27 March 2002) – "The Executive, Legislative and Judicial Powers, decentralized organizations and companies where the National State is a major stockholder, will use only free programs (software) for their systems and IT equipment."The Bill
Australian government has started to debate an open source bill. The bill has been formally put before the Senate for legislation designed to promote the use of open source software in commonwealth departments. The main argument is that departments were being locked into a dependency on proprietary software, and current government record-keeping systems already predominantly rely on proprietary software and file formats.Australian IT News
The Brazilian government plans to migrate 80% of all computers in state institutions and state-owned businesses from Windows to Linux. This will be a gradual migration, that will begin with a pilot project in one ministry and which will be completed over a period of three years.
Also, the Brazilian National Healthcare system has about 10 million lines of code, and the organization plans to turn its software over to the open source movement.PC Linux Online
A new policy by China's governing body will rule that all ministries buy only locally produced software at the next upgrade cycle. The move by the State Council is aimed at breaking the dominance of U.S.-based Microsoft on desktop computers and will eliminate Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office productivity suite from hundreds of thousands of Chinese government computers in a few years' time.
Also, the governments of Japan, China, and South Korea have reached basic agreement on the formation of a joint open source software project that could encompass desktop applications, embedded programs, middleware, and operating systems.CNet
A report by the European Commission recommends that administrations should share open source software resources. The report, called "Pooling Open Source Software", recommends that European administrations should share software on an open source licensing basis, to cut soaring e-government information technology costs which, it says, are set to rise by 28 percent to 6600 million euros this year.ZDNet
Finland is working to establish the Applied Linux Institute (ALI). The ALI currently is a joint venture of three public institutions: the Department of Communications at the University of Helsinki, the Institution of Adult Education of Vantaa (University of Helsinki) and the Department of Schooling and Education of the City of Vantaa, which lies on the outskirts of the Finnish capital.
The ALI is a network-type organization, dedicated to multi-disciplinary research and development of free and open systems. Currently it exists as a project and is located in the Vantaa Institute for Continuing Education, University of Helsinki. In time, the institute will be established in a more permanent form.Linux Journal
The Munich local government is replacing Windows PCs with Linux in one of the largest Linux migrations ever seen. Munich's council said that it will spend about 30m euros on the switch. The city is also migrating from Microsoft's Office productivity software to the open source OpenOffice suite. One of Munich's Councilors said: "With Linux, the city has more freedom from reliance on products from a single company".ZDNet
Indonesia's education ministry has become the latest Asian recipient of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice software giveaway. Sun Microsystems has been donating software to education departments around the world in an attempt to chip away Microsoft's dominance in the productivity software market. The company's StarOffice 6.0 productivity suite, often touted as a low-cost, open source rival to Microsoft Office, runs on Linux, Windows and Sun's Solaris. It consists of a set of tools for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and image editing.
In a motion passed by the city government of Florence, Italy, legislators warned that continued use of proprietary software was leading to "the computer science subjection of the Italian state to Microsoft."
The governments of Japan, China, and South Korea have reached basic agreement on the formation of a joint open source software project that could encompass desktop applications, embedded programs, middleware, and operating systems.
The plan was proposed by Takeo Hiranuma, the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, when he met with representatives of the Chinese and South Korean governments at an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.InfoWorld
The government has been committed to using open source software (OSS) since November 2001. The decision came from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad himself. According to Leo Moggie, Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister, the Prime Minister said at a "closed-door" meeting that the government would implement OSS in its departments and agencies. "The government decided to begin OSS implementation in agencies like the Treasury, while other ministries have begun implementing OSS on their servers," he told reporters at the National Open Source Conference and Exhibition (NOSCE) 2002.CNet
The Peruvian government introduced a bill in April 2002 mandating the use of open source software by the state. The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law, such as:
- Free access to public information by the citizen.
- Permanence of public data.
- Security of the State and citizens.
Since open source as a policy consideration is a relatively new phenomenon, a proper Open Source Government Policy begins with the explicit recognition of open source as a legitimate software development methodology. The government has also designated a proper Open Source Government Policy, which provides authority and accountability to a high-level government official who is responsible for coordination, communication and execution of the Program.
The South African strategy designates the State IT Agency (SITA) to provide leadership and support for government institutions wishing to implement open source software. The strategy makes provision for briefing sessions to the public and to government agencies, publishing information through appropriate media outlets, creating and maintaining an open source government website, and making presentations at conferences.Official Government OSS site
Thousands of computers in government ministries, agencies and universities will have their proprietary software replaced by open source alternatives during the next three years. The South Korean government has announced a plan to have proprietary software on a substantial number of its PCs and servers replaced with open source alternatives by 2007.
Also, the governments of Japan, China, and South Korea have reached basic agreement on the formation of a joint open source software project that could encompass desktop applications, embedded programs, middleware, and operating systems.ZDNet
The Canary Islands Parliament recently approved a multi-partisan, nonbinding resolution urging the use of free and open source software by the government.
The Swedish Agency for Public Management: "Free and open source software is not any makeshift phenomenon, but instead a fully adequate and dependable competitor to existing proprietary products and solutions."
The Taiwan government has gone into the developer-support business - it has launched an open source software help and how-to web site, according to a report in Taipei Times. The web site contains free software code for web browsers, e-mail, office, and database tools, all published by the government. The free code will give local developers a hand in writing software for hardware such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and home entertainment computers.CNet
Demand for Thailand's recently launched Linux-based desktop and notebook PCs, subsidized by the Government, has exceeded expectations. There are currently two products offered, a notebook for 19,500 Baht (US$450) and a desktop for 10,900 Baht (US$250). The notebook is being produced by HP, and the desktop by Belta, SVOA and Computec. They both run on LinuxTLE, a version of Linux localized into Thai Language.LinuxTLE
The UK government made an announcement that nine government departments are piloting open source platforms in a venture with IBM. The trials should last from three to six months and include large departments such as the Department of Work and Pension, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the eEnvoy, as well as smaller bodies such as Newham Borough Council and Orkney Council.Computer World
The use of open source software is alive and well and growing among government agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau and NASA. In an address at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (Oscon) titled "Open Source in Government," Lisa Wolfisch Nyman, a senior Internet technology architect at the Bureau, said the issue of open source and government was first raised at Oscon in 1999".eWeek