Free and open source software is commonly used by public administrations in Albania, according to a report published earlier this month by the Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration. Most-often implemented are the relational database management systems Mysql and Postgresql and several Linux distributions including CentOS and Zentyal. Open source is an everyday tool used by both large, national public institutions, including the State Police and the Ministry of Finance, and smaller specialised agencies heavily relying on ICT such as the Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering.
Open source is also implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the General Directorate for Public Transport and the National Authority for Electronic Certification. "The State Police is making use of almost every category of open source."
The report, "Open Source Software", summarises the results of several surveys and interviews with public administrations in 2013. It also includes information shared during a workshop on 23 December, organised by the ministry.
According to the study, IT departments are developing their capacity and skills to implement servers that combine Linux, Mysql, the Apache webserver and the PHP programming language, and are taking responsibility for maintenance and support.
Of the 31 institutions that participated in the survey, 21 respond to be mixing proprietary and open source solutions, and 18 explain they do in-house software development. "With respect to the software development and acquisition model, the responses received from the public sector CIO do not show any strong trend towards any specific model."
The report, published in Albanian and in English, recommends that the government starts an awareness campaign to point public administrations to the advantages of free and open source. When purchasing ICT solutions, procuring authorities should weigh openness, cost savings, interoperability and the potential for re-use. The study advises the Albanian government to build a long-term open source software strategy, as part of the national approach for IT.