Open source office alternatives on government PCs
The government of Hungary intends to increase public administrations’ use of open source software and open standards. A decree published on 18 May explains that the transition should go hand-in-hand with the strengthening of the country’s nascent open source software service sector.
The decree requires the creation of “provisions to propagate software built on open standards and open source software in the public sector, while maintaining the efficiency of public administration.” The measures should be ready by the end of September and necessary additional legislation should be submitted in November at the latest.
NISZ, the state-owned National Information and Communication Services company, is to immediately begin implementing open source office productivity tools on government PC workstations. Additionally, NISZ should provide the public sector with training materials for the open source office tools.
An important role is given to Hungary’s Ministry of Interior. The ministry is to start a central licence registry for software used by the public sector. It should also create a committee to help promote the use of open standards and open source, involving the country’s ICT council, the Academy of Sciences, and others. The ministry will report yearly on progress made on the use of open source and standards.
Lastly, Hungary will also breathe new life into the country’s Free Software Competence Centre, which was operational from late 2012 to early 2014. The centre will be closely involved in the tasks assigned to NISZ. As before, the centre is to be funded primarily from EU funds, the decree stipulates.