Ministry welcomes comments on draft clauses for contracts and procurement
Poland’s Ministry of Digital Affairs is nudging the country’s public administrations to share and reuse ICT solutions. In July the ministry published draft clauses for contracts and procurement, asking citizens to comment. The clauses do not explicitly stipulate the use of free and open source software licences. However, the ministry emphasises that when developing software, public administrations should own the code and have the right to share and redistribute it.
“Particular attention should be paid to intellectual property rights”, the ministry warns in its announcement, “this is an area of concern, which potentially contains threats to the administrations.”
The ministry is not mandating a choice for either proprietary or open source software, according to a spokesperson for the ministry. “That is entirely up to the contracting public administrations. However, we hope that these contract and procurement clauses become part of their toolbox.”
Some of the draft clauses address conditions commonly found in proprietary software licences, and others section focus on open source, the spokesperson explains. For custom-made software, the ministry recommends that public administrations get the full copyright and agree with the developers on a model for modification and redistribution of the software.
The European Commission’s ISA Programme in 2013 published “Sharing and Re-using" clauses for contracts. These texts can be used by public authorities that intend to develop IT solutions and that want to allow others to reuse their work.