EU Member States do not agree on how to use procurement policies to avoid IT vendor lock-in and increase the use of free and open source software, a new case study shows. This analysis of Sweden's successful use of pre-selected open source service suppliers reports that this approach 'would not fit' the United Kingdom and how Spain chooses 'a different path to the same goal'.
The report titled 'Public Open Source Software Procurement Models: The Next Generation', was published last Friday on the European Commission's Joinup web site, a project on open source software and semantic assets for European public administrations.
The case study shows that the procurement approach developed by the Kammarkollegiet, Sweden's Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency, is making it much easier for small and medium sized businesses to participate in public procurement.
The Kammarkollegiet pre-selected five suppliers able to provide software and services to the central government, the public educational sector, all twenty county councils, and 225 out of the 290 Swedish municipalities. The five suppliers are free to work with other companies, including SMBs, to form consortia for specific contracts.
The case study also reports a rapid increase in the use of this type of software by the country's schools and municipalities. Since its start in 2007, turnover has been growing by 10 to 15 percent. "And in 2011 the turnover grew 25 percent", adds Daniel Melin, ICT procurement officer at the agency. "We have no other framework agreement that shows such growth rates."
Sweden is the only country with a framework agreement for open source.