Slovak proponents of the use of free and open source software are rallying for their country’s parliament to approve plans to share the source code of software solutions developed by and for public services. They are concerned that proprietary software vendors will lobby for changes to the eGovernment act, a strategic IT Government proposal that is to be discussed in parliament in March or April.
The proposed eGovernment act is supported by Slovak.Digital, a Slovak non-profit organisation promoting open government and government modernisation. The act sets out clear rules that will help the government get rid of IT vendor lock-in, the group says in a post on its Facebook page, published on 28 January. “We hope the act can withstand lobby attempts for last-minute changes that will ruin it,” the then director Ján Hargaš writes.
Last year, the organisation publicly submitted its comments on the act, supported by 750 citizens.
The eGovernment act will make the government the owner of its custom-built IT solutions, and require that all source code for such solution be available under the European Union’s open source licence (EUPL).
The blanket requirement is opposed by ITAS, an IT trade group. In November ITAS president Emil Fitošm argued, in a public letter on its website, that the requirement should only be valid for parts of the work that can be reused without changes.