Free software support in Fran…

Free software support in France: new specifications include governmental agencies

Abandons hard-to-manage pooling of support requests.

The specifications for the next support contract for free software in French Ministries have been published with an extended scope and will now include some governmental agencies.

Under the previous contract, seventeen ministers were eligible for a support framework through a special ticketing system. The new contract includes now eighteen institutions including the French President’s office,the Consitutional Council. However,the Court of Auditors (Cour des comptes) is no longer  listed . Twenty-four public operators, including universities, regional health agencies, and social administrations, will now be able to benefit from this framework.

Available on the public procurement service (BOAMP, Bulletin officiel des annonces des marchés publics) since the beginning of April 2016, this contract is a renewal of the first contract started in 2012.

Expertise and consulting

The new specifications make several key changes to the previous version.  The new contract  includes integration and adaptive maintenance services, including expertise and consulting. A migration plan is also included ; the former contract was mainly focused on corrective maintenance and remote support services.

The list of supported free software has been shortened from 319 to 200, and focuses on the most-used software, a representative of the French Ministry of Interior told the French IT news site  A case study published on JoinUp mentioned also a weak involvement of some ministries, during the first contract’s period.

OBM (messaging solution), Maarch (content management) and LibreOffice (productivity suite) are cited as the most frequently requested applications during the first support contract (source 

But no price reduction

The pricing system based on a sliding scale has been abandoned. This system aimed to encourage the pooling of ministries' support requests on the same software. This type of system was too difficult to manage, the Ministry of the Interior, said.

The deadline for companies to bid for the support contract is on 17 May.. The total support contract is valued at EUR 3.4 million.


More information:

On OSOR : How 17 French ministries joined forces to support free software



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