Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dutch Open Source consultation (12)

Quick gains
Looking at quick gains was the introduction of ODF as standard exchange format for documents between the government and the citizen. This would present a real effect in the short term and would offer future reliability, expandibity , better price and performance as ell as a higher innovation character of open source for the office environment to the government.
Other suggestions for quick gains:
- To offer OS software development environments and stimulate trainings;
- Adaptations for of tender rules so that small open source suppliers can also participate;
- Standardisation of municipal kiosks. Financial administration software should be available over the whole of government departments, by which it is easy for the departments to conform to the conditions of accountants in an easy manner/ Also the transparency would become optimal and certifiable..
- OSS for patient files.

Furher suggestions
In the final considerations the slogan No words but deeds dominate and the need for a clear framework to build policy. Some highlights:
-Within the government there is a great lack of insight in open source software and open standards. This has to change if we want to move to a practical level of decisions. Complex maths you can leave to indepent experts in science and the social field, but they need support from the government;
- The government needs to know what she does not know and leave that to the experts.

Make money available so that people with knowledge can join standardization bodies (and do not do it yourself as government). ICT policy needs to get another approach. Now the old ICT (closed source, not web based, no influence of the users, based on paper specifications which can not be overseen by anyone, old purchase rules, which lead to a comfortable turn-over for old style software companies). The thinking about ICT will have to change, says Margot Lagendijk

For users of non-open desktop platforms, like Windows a complete change over at once would lead to organizational problems, which in some cases will lead to unnecessary delays. Realistic plans and small steps will help the movement further in phases and create confidence.

A slow start to build open software into a standard above Windows is preferred so that the change over to a open desktop will become easy. It should not be seen as a technical story and one of government officials, but as a political question for parliamentary representatives and governors. Pressure on suppliers is most important, a clear choice of the government (as a big client) forces suppliers to become open. Without a clear choice nothing will happen, says Michel Klijmij municipal bord member of Green Left in Gouda.

The recognition that ICT is more than enabler:
ICT is strategically important for our society, economically as well as socially. Directing ICT is crucial for our future. This is impossible without open technology.
Another problem is that due to the low attention and negative signals from the sector regarding lay-offs, outsourcing, near shoring and the like ther are only a few students, which is extremely worrying,
says Jo Lahaye, president of Holland Open

More openness and freedom with regard to information and information technology leads to more digital sustainability and has eventually a positive effect on the economy and society. To reach that open standards and open source software is needed. It can only be hope that open source software and open standards will become policy and that we will let us lead by easiness and big money, says Frits de Jong.

To wrap up with a conclusion which renders properly why it is important to expel the fears existing on the level of execution and which have been able to push away the policy intentions like the motion of the Dutch parliamentary politician Vendrik: Only own experience will convince people and support the ambassadors and experts with regards to free software and open standards, says Mr. C.A.M. Segers of the Avans College, Academy for ICT and Media in Breda.

Blog Posting Number: 792


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