Second EUR million framework contract for open source support services
France's ministries are involving free software communities and the public in writing their next multi-year framework contract for services and support on free and open source software. It is the first time that an IT services support contract will be co-written by administration and citizens.
The French government is reviewing its existing free software support contract, signed in 2011. Contributions can be submitted until the end of February, on the portal forum.etalab.gouv.fr.
This portal was launched mid-January. It serves as a central repository where citizens can access documents and submit proposals.
The portal will not only help compile the next free software contract, says founder Etalab, France's open data and open government programme. The forum is to become "an area for discussion and collaboration for the community of free software contributors in the French Administration."
"As an area for dialogue , sharing of experience and launch of concrete collaborations, this tool will bring together free software users and contributors in the administration, of which they are many in ministries and states services such as healthcare and local authorities", Etalab writes. The portal aims to increase the possibility for action by free software stakeholders in the administration", the task force adds.
"We want a collaborative approach to build the new technical specifications of the future support contract for free software", one of the forum's moderator said.
"We aim to share our needs, to collect and structure information to help create more constructive proposals", he added, "particularly from free software communities".
On the portal, submitters are so far mostly asking questions, including:
- - What is the use of a general support contract for free software?
- - How to get value from free software contributions?
- - Which licence for Free Software in the public sector?
One discussion thread focuses on "issues with the former contract". Comments include:
- It is "impossible to order a pool of software for all the ministries; an order is made for only one ministry";
- "Ministries would like that the most used common software will put together and price in an interministerial way. Those software should also be available for all the centralised administration, such as LibreOffice, and PostgreSQL."