Public administrations in Italy's Lazio region are encouraged to replace proprietary software with open source alternatives, according to one of the articles of a law on open data adopted on 23 May. The law also says that software developed for and by the regions public organisations should be made available as open source.
According to a summary of the law made available by the regional government, the purpose of this article is to promote e-democracy. "The region calls for the promotion and gradual replacement of proprietary software with free software."
The bill is a combination of two earlier proposals. It was adopted by the regional council by a majority, with 51 votes in favour and one abstention. Its title can be translated as: 'Provision on open data, on the reuse of information and on public data-related initiatives'.
Most of the articles in the new law focus on allowing reuse of data that is gathered by the regional public administrations.
Economic benefits The government is to make available its data, fairly and without discrimination "even for purposes other than those for which the information was originally acquired and processed", the government explains in its summary. The aim is to "promote economic initiatives beneficial to the region's economy".
The regional government, in announcing its new law, quotes several of the councillors who helped write the law. One of these, Rocco Berardo says: "Today's approval for the Open Data Act represents a great victory for all citizens of Lazio. Our commitment to open government has reached an important goal of reform."
It also quotes Giancarlo Miele, chairman of a council commission on the economical development of the region: "This law involves local government, small and medium sized enterprises and future generations. It will offer Lazio best practices in innovation. We do not only increase openness of the public administration, but strengthen the economic development and employment related to new technologies."
Italy's caretaker government in December last year adopted a law that instructs the country's public administrations to consider using open source when they procure software solutions.