Adoption of free and open-source software by public institutions
“We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable -- one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could.”
The use of free software instead of proprietary software can give institutions better control over information technology. A growing number of public institutions have started a transition to free-software solutions. This grants independence and can also address the often-argued need for public access to publicly funded developments. This is the only way that public services can ensure that citizen data is handled in a trustworthy manner since non-free software doesn't allow total control (or even knowledge) over the employed functions of the needed programs.
The Government of Kerala, India, announced its official support for free/open-source software in its State IT Policy of 2001. This was formulated after the first-ever free-software conference in India, "Freedom First!", held in July 2001 in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, where Richard Stallman inaugurated the Free Software Foundation of India. Kerala's Government's support for Free Software in 2001 is perhaps the earliest instance of a Government supporting the use of Free Software.
In January 2010, the Government of Jordan announced that it has formed a partnership with Ingres Corporation, a leading open-source database-management company based in the United States that is now known as Actian Corporation, to promote the use of open-source software starting with university systems in Jordan.
The German City of Munich in 2003 announced its intention to switch from Microsoft Windows NT-based operating systems to an open-source implementation of SuSE Linux, In June 2004 after a pilot project run by SuSE Linux and IBM there was a final approval for the migration. On 14 April 2005 the city decided to migrate to Debian from a commercial Linux distribution. An adoption rate of 20% was achieved by 2010.
IOSSPL is a free and open source software used for public libraries in Romania.
In 2017, the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, opened up most of its new internal software development efforts to reduce its own software costs, and increase collaboration with other municipalities looking to solve similar problems.
In August 2016, the United States government announced a new federal source-code policy. This policy mandates that at least 20% of custom source code developed by or for any agency of the federal government must be released as open-source software (OSS). In addition, the policy requires that all source code be shared between agencies. The public release is under a three-year pilot program and agencies are obliged to collect data on this pilot to gauge its performance. The overall policy aims to reduce duplication, avoid vendor 'lock-in', and stimulate collaborative development. A new website code
The government of Argentina launched the program Conectar Igualdad (Connect Equality), through ANSES and the Ministry of Education (Argentina) launched during the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, that gave kids on public schools free laptops to use for educative purposes. By default, it came with Huayra GNU/Linux, a free and open-source Linux operating system developed by the Argentinian technology ministry, based on Debian, using the MATE Desktop.
The government of Brazil migrated from Microsoft Windows to Linux. In 2006, the Brazilian government also encouraged the distribution of cheap computers running Linux throughout its poorer communities by subsidizing their purchase with tax breaks.
In 2005, the Government of Peru voted to adopt open source across all its bodies. The 2002 response to Microsoft's critique is available online. In the preamble to the bill, the Peruvian government stressed that the choice was made to ensure that key pillars of democracy were safeguarded: "The basic principles which inspire the Bill are linked to the basic guarantees of a state of law."
In 2004, a law in Venezuela (Decree 3390) went into effect, mandating a two-year transition to open source in all public agencies. As of June 2009 this ambitious transition is still under way.
- Linux adoption
- List of Linux adopters
- OpenDocument adoption
- de:Open-Source-Software in öffentlichen Einrichtungen (in German)
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