Monday, June 18, 2007

Dutch Open Source consultation (7)

According to a majority of the respondents the Dutch government should play an active part in the changing international field of standardisation in order to get a better return on investments on ICT investments in The Netherlands. This is recognition of the fact that the most important ICT standards do not get established within the ISO framework, represented in The Netherlands by NEN, but also within NGOs as OASIS, W3C, OGF and IETF. The official policy of the government should be aiming at defending its interests instead of following the standards once they are decided upon.

Open source as intermediate product
From the consultation it is clear that the government should play a more active part in the development of the open source software relevant for its operations. On the one hand to develop or have developed open source software by its own departments; on the other hand it should contribute to the quality and reliability of open source software used. The choice of open source software is usually not dominated by price motives, but by quality conditions.

In general it is said that in time the government should work with a standard method for purchasing and developing of open source software. In that way the government gets more of a say in its own ICT affairs and promotes it competition without sacrificing stability or quality.

Yes the government should make funds available for developments. It invests too little now in ICT resulting in a waste of money, says Kees Lijkendijk of the ICT-Service Center Police, Justice and Security.

Within strategic planning and ICT management in government organizations it is not often considered that the government is able to steer the developments of open software itself. This is not surprising as the real knowledge about open source is lacking. The open source culture is looked at with suspicion in government circles. Here is a great problem. In other words , open source technorati will certainly not start working for the government, says Drs. Gabriel Hopmans, CEO Morpheus Software

The suggestion to obligatory reserve a percentage of the ICT budget of the government for strategic open source applications (in the words of the Tilburg alderman Hans Janssen a budget incentive) was very welcome. The reasons for this vary from guaranteeing the identity of the government, increasing the return on investments to improved innovation power. Part of the respondents is of the opinion that this can be an effective instrument to structurally increase the national component of the ICT expenses; to build up global top knowledge in The Netherlands; to stimulate the local economy in a transparent way without unexplainable grants and other artificial means. At the same time money can be saved which is now wasted on a badly functioning software market.

Blog Posting Number: 787


No comments: