The European Union should start working on a directive on openness and reuse of software applications, says Serafín Olcoz Yanguas, the outgoing chief information officer of Basque Country. Governments that switch to free and open source software contribute to the economy and improve productivity, he argues. "It is a more efficient business model than that of the proprietary software industry."
Governments using open source create future benefits (CApital EXpenditures), as part of their OPerational EXpenditure, argues Olcoz. "It creates a virtuous loop between the public and private sector, with a recurring public contribution."
Olcoz launched his proposal during the Libre Software World Conference, which took place in Santiago de Compostela on 18 and 19 October. The CIO says that the EU directive should be based on the decree proposed by the Basque government in July and approved as a policy in September. That law says that all software developed for the government publicly must be made available as open source.
According to Olcoz, the Spanish national government is now working on a similar Royal Decree.
The CIO's call is supported by the Association of Free Software Companies of the Basque Country (ESLE), Cenatic, Spain's national resource centre on open source and CTIC, a semi governmental ICT research centre.
It remains to be seen if Olcoz and his coalition of supporters will be able to continue their work. Following the elections in Basque Country, it is expected that the new government will appoint political supporters in the IT department. "We hope that the new government will continue the work of Olcoz and his department", said a spokesperson of the outgoing government. "We will know in about two months from now."
David Olmos, president of ESLE says he is contacting all political parties, to make them understand that a switch to free and open source has nothing to do with party ideologies. The coalition meanwhile continues to work with the Spanish national government. "If we can get a Royal Decree, it would involve all of Spain's autonomous regions."