State Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) has filed a bill designed
to decrease expenditures on computing in the Texas state
government. Recognizing that the State's procurement process
requires bidding which favors proprietary software, SB 1579 opens
the door to cost savings through exploitation of efficient
technologies unavailable in the past.
"It is time to reassess computer arrangements for the State of
Texas, especially the rising costs for computer licensing of
software and maintenance of information technology systems in light
of the current budget shortfall," said Senator Carona.
Currently, most state agencies rely on proprietary software,
which incurs a considerable cost through licensing fees and
maintenance. Copyright laws on the software restrict its use and
modification, preventing agencies from adapting the software to
SB 1579 is designed to mitigate these costs by leveling the
playing field between proprietary software and Open Source Software
(OSS) products. Once informed about the availability of OSS, the
bill would allow the state government to choose products on a
"value-for-money basis," rather than being limited to traditional
products on the market.
Senator Carona said his practical and innovative proposal was
recommended by a constituent in private industry. "It has come to
my attention that Open Source Software is the flexible, cost-saving
solution we need to explore," said the author. "Through the
implementation of Open Source Software we may lower our information
technology costs, increase the reliability and security of our
systems, improve service to citizens and produce much needed
Several government agencies currently utilize OSS products,
including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department
of Energy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the
City of St. Louis, and the City of Los Angeles.
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