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Danish Board of Technology: Public Administration Can Save Billions using Open Source

Oct 21, 2002, 11:30 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Claus Sørensen)

[ Thanks to Claus Sørensen, OpenOffice.org for this story and link. ]

On Thursday, October 10, 2002, the Danish Board of Technology released a report about the economic potential of using Open Source software in the public administration; a report that showed a potential savings of 3.7 billion Danish Kroners (500 million EUR) over four years.

The main suggestion of the report is to use an open exchange format for text document within a public administration so the competition can be enhanced and the price of the software lowered.

In the Hanstholm municipality, a pilot project started in April howed that public workers there had no more problems using OpenOffice.org and StarOffice instead of Microsoft Office as their office suite and each user only needed one to one and half hour of training to learn the OpenOffice.org office suite. The municipality will now use OpenOffice.org and StarOffice on all of its workplaces (200 in all) and will save 300,000 Danish Kroners (40,000 EUR) each year in license fees. They will still use Microsoft Windows as their operating system.

Three Danish political parties from different parts of the political spectrum responded with a demand for Open Source pilot projects on a larger scale within the public administrations.

And Århus county could be one of these pilot projects. Currently they use WordPerfect, but this suite will not contain Danish help in future versions because Danish is a too small a market for Corel. Since Danish help is crucial, the administration is planning to switch to OpenOffice.org.

Along the way, they should save about 10 million Danish Kroners (1.2 million EUR) each year with the Open Source solution instead of Microsoft Office. They have also budgeted 1 million Danish Kroners to create a WordPerfect filter for OpenOffice.org to use with their existing documents.

On October 15, the Nordic Council gave 500,000 Danish Kroners (65,000 EUR) to The Danish Consumer Agency to create a Nordic site for consumers about using Open Source software. The Danish Consumer Agency had earlier showed that they saved hundred of thousands of Danish Kroners using an Open Source solution for their website instead of a Unix-based soltuion.

Though currently available only in Danish, the report is being translated to English--and you have something to look forward to. This report is the most well-documented Open Source reports so far, with a great deal of references and tests. The writers are university people (two associate professors and a professor) and not a consulting company.

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