The new Basque Country law, to make all software developed for the government publicly available as open source, is a leading example to all other Europea public administrations to adopt similar policies. Cenatic, the country's resource centre on open source, expects for instance that other regions in Spain will take up the challenge.
"The Basque Country decree takes national laws and European regulations one step further", explains Cenatic's spokesperson. "These laws and regulations are about promoting sharing and reuse of public administration software. The Basque decree amplifies openness and reuse of existent and future public body applications."
The decree instructs public administrations to make public everything involved in their software development, says the spokesperson. "That includes purchasing and the maintenance process. It should all become open data."
Cenatic is helping other regional governments with similar policies to promote sharing and reuse, and to help them to make applications and data free.
Serafín Olcoz Yanguas, the chief information officer of Basque Country, said at a conference in Toledo in April this year, that the decree makes the public sector in the region more efficient when acquisition software development and maintenance contracts. "The law sets the terms and conditions for acquisition, development, maintenance and configuration of software applications."
The decree was approved by the Basque Country government on 24 July. In a commentary published by CIO Olcoz on Joinup earlier this month, he writes that the decree is a European first, and is already inspiring other public administrations: "The Ministry of Finance and Public Administration has begun developing a Royal Decree based on the one from the Basque Government"