Eel/lak, a Greek network of academic proponents of open source, is asking a hospital in Thessaloniki to reconsider its banning of software solutions based on free and open source software. The hospital is misreading last year's government inventory of public administration's software licences, the group says.
"This ban has no legal basis, is not based on any government decision and creates unnecessary costs for the Greek taxpayer in a particularly difficult period for the entire Greek community."
Last week, Eel/Lak, representing 29 universities, research centres and technology institutes, sent a letter to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Thessaloniki and the ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance. The group writes that the hospital is misreading a request from the government's Financial and Economic Crime Unit.
Last year, this unit began approaching companies and public administrations, asking for an inventory of their software licences along with the corresponding invoices. The group included a letter from the government unit, stating the use of free and open source software is totally acceptable.
The aim of the economic crime unit is to combat tax evasion. But since free software solutions generally don't come with an invoice, some public administrations are misreading its missive, exactly like Eel/lak predicted last November.
Eel/lak points out to the hospital that free and open source software solutions are, in many cases, better than proprietary applications. The software increases competition, is often more secure and easier to manage. "Most important is that using this type of solutions contributes to local development and helps the local ICT market."