France’s Cour des comptes (Court of Auditors) supports the central government’s use of free software, recognising it as a driver of government modernisation and improved efficiency. Most importantly, though, the use of free software is a matter of security and sovereignty, the court writes in its 2018 annual report, published on 7 February.
The court recommends that public services follow the example of DINSIC, the central government’s IT coordination unit: use free software to build IT services, and share and reuse data and APIs.
DINSIC’s strategy of sharing and reusing data, software, digital services and APIs reaches beyond the technological dimension, the court writes in its review of the digital modernisation of the French state. It advances the state towards a digital commons, and removes barriers between public administrations. Sharing allows both the economy and society to benefit from the investments in digital technology made by public services. In addition, the use of free software helps to make the government an attractive employer.
The IT strategy review is part of the court’s 2018 Annual Report.
April, the French advocacy group for free software and open standards, “welcomes" the Cour des Comptes’ unambiguous position in favour of the development of a free and sovereign IT for the common good.” The group expects the positive review to help sway policymakers and politicians.
The Court of Auditors 2018 Annual Report
The Court of Auditors review of digital government modernisation (PDF)
Numerama news item (in French)
Newzilla news item (in French)
La Tribune news item (in French)
CIO Online news item (in French)