How eGov? Most of the world's great governments think Open

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 01/07/2005 - 19:48.

If you for some reason like Microsoft you will not like this news, or the fact the world's progressive governments are mandating or expressing preferences for eGov development with open source applications and technologies - mandates include in Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy and Peru - preferences include in Bahrain, Belgium, China and Hong Kong, Costa Rica, France, Germany,
Iceland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Philippines and South
Africa - noteworthy is that "The Venezuelan government has founded an Open Source academy in the city of Merida in an effort to provide a supply of capable staff." Hello America, Ohio, and regional governments... are you serious about participating in the global economy? Better get open about using IT, and developing our workforce...

The Register » Software »

The government open source dynamic

By Robin
Bloor, Bloor Research
- Published Friday 7th January 2005 09:43 GMT

The news just broke that the Venezuelan government is
planning to migrate to Open Source, having issued a decree to central
government organizations to draft plans for migration.

The decree involves three phases of migration beginning with
central government, then regional government and finally municipal government.
Central ministries covered in the first phase are being asked to complete the
migration within two years (unless they can demonstrate that the time frame
cannot be met). The Venezuelan government has founded an Open Source academy in
the city of Merida in an effort to provide a supply of capable staff.

This is yet another straw in the wind as regards global government
commitments to and enthusiasm for Open Source. There is currently a remarkable
amount of proposed legislation world wide that mandates the use of Open Source
in government.

The countries where this is the case are: Argentina, Brazil,
Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, France, Italy and Peru. However, such legislation
has previously been proposed and rejected in many countries simply because a
blanket technology mandate is rarely practical.

More telling, in terms of a clear enthusiasm for Open Source
are countries where a stated policy of a “preference� for Open Source has been
declared. Countries where this is the case, in some areas of government IT use,
include: Bahrain, Belgium, China and Hong Kong, Costa Rica, France, Germany,
Iceland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Philippines and South
Africa.

Beyond this, almost all governments have R&D projects
which are investigating the practicality of Open Source for government use
which will, in all probability lead to local policy guidelines at some point
which favour open source.

There are three significant motivations for government
sponsorship of Open Source. First of all, government spend on technology is
very high and thus the idea of an established viable Open Source alternative to
proprietary software is appealing because it must lead to cost reductions,
either because it provides a bargaining position (against proprietary vendors)
or because it replaces more expensive proprietary software.

Secondly, for most governments, proprietary software is an
import which does little to enrich the economy, while an Open Source initiative
is likely to promote the development of a local software industry.

Finally, governments usually see Open Source as a means of
promoting IT standards which have the potential to reduce technology costs in
the medium to long term – not just in the government sector but in the local
economy. This is particularly important in less developed countries where the
cost of IT is simply too high for many local businesses.

These many government initiatives are likely to have a far
ranging impact on software technology in general because they will eventually
legitimize and promote Open Source in many areas, particularly on the PC.
Government promotion of Open Source is now becoming an established world wide
trend and it is unlikely to be reversed.

© IT-analysis.com

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