8 July 2002 A European Commission report has recommended use of open source software across the public sector in the European Union (EU) as a way of reducing the cost of ‘e-government’ projects.
The Commission points out that the cost of e-government is rising fast and is expected to increase by 28% to €6.6 billion in 2002. It suggests that the cost of implementing e-government software could be slashed if national governments open-sourced the technology.
The study, called ‘Pooling Open Source Software’, was funded by the Commission. It says that a software clearing house ought to be established in Europe, with public sector agencies making proven software available to all for re-use as part of the scheme.
“Good practice is built on proven solutions that work… They could be usefully used as a source of inspiration for member states to develop good and interactive public services in the future,” said Erkki Liikanen, the commissioner in charge of the ‘Information Society’.
Many EU governments have consistently backed open source software as a cheaper and politically neutral alternative to proprietary software.