Recommendations from the OSOR workshop at Paris Open Source Summit 2016
Public administrations that want to work with open source communities should organise hackathons and other meetings on software development. They should also publish calls for tender that can be answered by individuals and small businesses. These are some preliminary recommendations from the OSOR workshop at the Paris Open Source Summit last Wednesday.
“This is a good way to build relationships with a diverse group of independent entrepreneurs and small companies”, said Eelke Jager, data analyst working for the city of Amsterdam. The city’s has made available a meeting space, where the IT department often meets with open data enthusiasts and open source developers, including many entrepreneurs.
Similarly, the IT department in the city of Munich several times per year opens its doors to open source software developers - so-called ‘bug squashing parties’. “In exchange for their contributions and bug-fixes, we cook for them in the town hall’s kitchen”, said Jan-Marek Glogowski, from the Linux-desktop support team in the Bavarian capital. The city also regularly presents at open source conferences, and is actively involved in several organisations working with open source software, such as the KDE and LibreOffice advisory boards.
Reuse and contribute
France’s Gironde Department also sees workshops as a good way to interact with a multitude of open source developers, confirmed Pascal Romain, project manager for Gironde. He is overseeing the development of a large-scale electronic archive solution; and uses software development meetings to get ideas and suggestions. “It also helps to enlarge the number of partners”, he said - the region aims to get more public administrations to reuse its software and contribute to development.
Procurement was the other main thread in the discussion at the workshop. Daniel Melin, procurement specialist at Sweden’s procurement agency 'Statens Inköpscentral' explained how to combine free software contributions with procurement requests. By using pre-defined frameworks prepared by 'Statens Inköpscentral’, Swedish public administrations do not have to worry about how to contribute to open source - this is made the responsibility of the companies that are working for them. Amsterdam’s Jager recommends publishing smaller calls for tender, to give independent software developers and small IT services firms a fair chance.
The oresentations from the OSOR workshop will be made available below.