Update: Swedish Government Study Endorses Open Source
Mar 03, 2003, 14:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
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[ Thanks to Daniel Melin and Jonas for this information. ]
Statskontoret, the Swedish Agency for Public Management, has
performed a feasibility study on free and open source software and
has given a thumbs up to the use of free and open source
The purpose of the study, which was conducted with the
cooperation of several Swedish government agencies, was to provide
a guideline for how public administrations and agencies should
relate to open source and free software.
The cross-government team running the study stated that "open
software in many cases are equivalent to--or better
than--commercial products," according to a statement from
Statskontoret. "Procurement of software shall therefore evaluate
open software as well as commercial solutions, to provide better
competition in the market."
The study, entitled "Öppen Programvara," cited that open
standards, formats and software are important components to provide
increased competition, improved interoperability, and reduced costs
for the Swedish government.
The paper also ennumerated important steps for public agencies
to use when selecting what open or free software they were going to
use. These steps include pilot tests, formation of a procurement
policy and general agreement, dissimination of information, and a
definition of open standards and formats--particularly document
formats. The study also included a model for how software developed
by government agencies may be made open.
Input on the just-released paper came from a wide variety of
According to Statskontoret, the working group consisted of
members from the Swedish National Labour Market Administration,
Swedish Armed Forces, University of Linköping, Swedish
Environmental Protection Agency, Region of Western Götaland,
National Police Board, Swedish National Tax Board, National
Veterinary Institute of Sweden, Stockholm County Council, and
Swedish National Road Administration.
The study, originally available in Swedish, is now also
available in English (PDF