Two IT trade associations in the Slovak Republic are objecting the renewal of a proprietary software licence contract negotiated by the country’s Ministry of Finance for all government organisations. Instead of continuing to rely on proprietary office suites, the groups want the Slovakian government to explore a transition to open source alternatives.
In an open letter, the Slovakian Society for Open Information Technologies (SOIT) and the Slovak Society for Computer Science (SISP) protest the prolongation of the existing proprietary licence contract.
“The government should not blindly pay for an expensive software suite”, says a SOIT spokesperson. “The amount of licences is excessive, not all government PCs will be using this software.”
The two groups write that in June the ministry renewed an existing licence contract for another three years. In the same month, the ministry also published a call for tender, directly requesting specific brands and products of the same proprietary vendor.
SOIT and SISP say the contract, which covers all 86000 PCs currently in use by the government, is wasting public money. They fear that the contract is will force government organisations to implement more proprietary software than they need.
In 2012 SOIT objected to a similar licence contract by the Slovak government. At the time, the Ministry of Finance promised to explore alternatives. “They promised this three years ago, but they never completed that study”, comments the SOIT spokesperson.
The Ministry has not yet answered to the detailed SOIT/SISP letter. The Ministry has not yet respond to emails and repeated phone calls seeking comments.