BG: Bulgaria to review its IT…

BG: Bulgaria to review its IT strategy, considers Open Source

Published on: 01/04/2008

The Bulgarian government is to review its national IT strategy and will consider the use of Open Source software.

The Bulgarian government organised a meeting with Open
Source companies and developers on 21 March in Sofia. Nikolay Vassilev, the minister for State Administration, told the representatives of software companies, IT services companies and Open Source developers that the government is about to review the state's IT system and that it wants to get a better understanding of Open Source software. The minister admitted he had once worked with Apple Macintosh, but had in the last thirteen years only experienced Microsoft applications. He told the Open Source advocates he would listen to their views on IT: "We have an open mind and will accept reasonable propositions."

It was the second such discussion organised by the ministry. The first meeting took place on 3 December 2007. Both meetings were announced at very short notice and without a clear agenda, according to some of those present.

Rumen Hristov, president of Aboss, the Bulgarian Association for Alternative Open Source Business Solutions, says the meetings prove that the ministry is changing its opinion on Open Source software. "That is the first step." He advised the ministry to research the economic benefits of Open Source software.

Nikola Donev, a GNU/Linux developer, suggested that the national

The Bulgarian government is already using Open Source, said Vesselin Yankov, Bulgarian representative of IT company Novell. He estimates that 5 percent of public administrators use a GNU/Linux-based desktop and that 30 percent of all servers run Open Source operating systems such as GNU/Linux. Yankov suspects the government is not aware of these numbers.

Krassimir Simonski, who works for the State Agency for ICT, concurred. "There is a lack of good statistics regarding the software applications the government uses."

© European Communities 2008
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