Free software in administrati…

Free software in administrations: sharing IT requirements is complicated

Pooling resources is in the DNA of free software, yet French local administrations fail to group their software purchases.   Purchasing free software services is still a complicated task for a French local administration, in spite of government encouragement, agreed a panel of experts who spoke during a round table at the Paris Open Source Summit 2016 last week.   “We may have good legal arguments to integrate free software, but it is much more complicated when local administrations must commit themselves in development and not using existing software”, said Sylvain Defromont, CIO of CDG 59, a management center in the northern region of France. Management centers (centre de gestion) in France are in charge of HR and IT operations for some French local administrations.    He said that administrations failed to pool developments because “sharing common requirements is difficult”. “Who will lead the purchase of software when resources are pooled, he said, pinpointing the legal issues related to financing common developments.   To help local administrations buying free software, Sylvain Defromont said he needs tools “to identify ongoing projects and facilitate exchanges and coordination around projects where free software may be used”.    A too long consensus    Maud Stein, in charge of general affairs for the city of Malakoff (Haut-de-Seine) confirmed that pooling is one of the key problems “It is very difficult to find means of a mutual understanding. We spend a lot of time to find consensus”, she said.                    
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