Fair procurement also still a long way to go, says trade association
Public administrations in Portugal are turning to open source ICT solutions slower than anticipated by ESOP, a trade association of Portuguese open source companies. The country’s ICT policies should spur the uptake of this kind of software, but ESOP says that the country lacks open source experts.
According to ESOP president Álvaro Amorim Pinto, Portugal is encouraging the use of open technologies and standards, leading to greater efficiency and better services.
A good example of how these policies translate into practice, is the IT department of Segurança Social, says Pinto. The country’s social security organisation for example uses open source components such as Apache Nutch and Apache Solr for its portal. Open source is also used by Segurança Social to detect and prevent fraud. For this, the organisation combines Apache components Spark, Hadoop and Kafka.
In September 2015, the organisation was one of the nominees for the ESOP Abertura award, the group’s annual prize for the most open project.
In his 2015 review, the ESOP president expressed his concern about the continuing discrimination of open source in calls for tender. The trade association monitors last year again noticed numerous tenders that specify brands or products, breaking Portuguese and European procurement rules. This disrespecting of the most basic principles of public procurement is common, claims ESOP. “There is still a long way to go”, Pinto writes.
ESOP announces that in 2016 it will urge the Portuguese parliament and government to improve the policies for public sector cloud services. “We urgently need clear rules on data security, privacy protection and the use of open standards to prevent lock-in”, Pinto explains.