Guidelines for European Open Source Procurement Published

Apr 27, 2010

The OSOR agency has published a study that should make it easier for public administrations in Europe to make decisions regarding open source software procurement.

The Open Source Observatory and Repository Europe (OSOR) agency claims that the document should clarify why open source software can have an effective deployment in public agencies. "More importantly," it says, "how they can do so within the current procurement regulations."

The guidelines pertain to downloading open software free of charge even "without a call for tenders" and what the tenders should spell out about it to ensure good procurement practices. A glance at the table of contents alone ranges from a restatement of the open source principles ("transparency, sustainability, cost-effectiveness") to determining acquisition needs, downloading and commercial support. Appendixes include suggested template texts for tenders.

The 60-page document is dated March, 2010 and is available as PDF (500 KBytes) from the OSOR IDABC Studies webpage. Its authors are Rishab Aiyer Ghosh and R¸diger Glott from the joint research facilities of Maastricht University and the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), as well as Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz and Abdelkrim Boujraf from the Belgian division of UNISYS. The document was created in the framework of the "Good Practice in Using Open Source Software (GPOSS)" initiative of the Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IDABC) program of the European Commission that expired the end of 2009.

The IDABC program also spawned OSOR.eu, which has since formed the OSOR.eu Forge code-sharing platform for collaborative development.

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