The Italian city of San Giorgio a Cremano is considering to migrate to Openoffice, an open source office automation suite. The city will also assist local schools in using educational open source software, in cooperation with Open Mind, a local non-profit organisation.
The municipality of San Giorgio a Cremano is about to buy several tens of new PCs. The city's council member responsible for IT, Giorgio Zinno, wants to time this with the evaluation of open source software alternatives. A first pilot project will bring together 25 civil servants to follow a week-long training course.
The migration plan will be presented by the city on 19 December, in an event organised by Openmind and dedicated to ways to migrate to open source software office suites and educational open source software. At the event, a thousand CDs containing the Opencd collection of open source software and a hundred USB keys with a pre-installed GNU/Linux distribution and documentation about educational open source software will be distributed to participants.
According to Roberto Dentice, Openmind's president, the city administration is currently using proprietary office applications running on top of proprietary operating systems. For the new PCs, it wants to renew its proprietary office applications or have an open source alternative in place, based on Openoffice.
Openmind is involved in supporting the development of a regional law on Open Standards and Open Source. The organisation is also taking part in four educational projects, each involving 1200 pupils and teachers and showing them how to use educational open source applications such as Gcompris, Tuxmath and Tuxpaint.
The goal of these school projects is to expose the students to the culture of open source and to show them how to use this type of software. "In order to drive autonomous IT decisions tomorrow, without prejudices, the students have to know open source alternatives", says Dentice.
According to Dentice, the city is also planning to test the use of older computer hardware, to see if these can be used to run the GNU/Linux distribution Tuxsa and the multi-platform security suite Secure PC
In a statement, the city council of San Giorgio said investing in open source software is about investing in the future.