Create, read and comment news on interoperability solutions for public administrations
A consortium of public administrations in eleven EU member states, IT innovation centres, and the university of Sheffield have started a project to increase awareness on the advantages of free and open source software. It specifically wants to provide guidelines to those administrations that are less familiar with this type of software.
Titled 'Open Source Software Usage by European Public Administrations' (Osepa), the project wants to "analyse, promote knowledge and foster awareness on the main benefits and disadvantages, cost evidence and effectiveness resulting from the adoption and use of free and open source software".
Osepa is a project made possible by the Interreg IVC, which provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe. Interreg IVC in turn is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
"We want to identify and assist in the development of the conditions that facilitate the further adoption of free and open source software by European public administrations", explains a spokeswoman from the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (Kedke), that initiated the Osepa project. "We aim to conduct a systematic debate among European public administration, supported by analysis and exchange of experience."
Osepa expects to complete a first survey on the use of free and open source software by public administrations in twenty EU member states in 2011.
The Osepa and EC's OSOR project will work together where possible, representatives of both projects say. This includes cooperating in each other's events, and by exchanging information, news and the results of studies.
Osepa is planning to organise nine workshops and several study visits. These are meant to ensure that public administrations can exchange experiences in implementing open source. Second, Osepa wants to use the meetings to analyse and compare open source policies. Osepa hopes its study will help the debate on open source policies.
The consortium will also organise two European conferences, aiming to explore the strategic impact of open source use and to present the results of the project. The first of these two conferences took place on 1 and 2 December in Badajoz, Spain. The second conference will take place in Jihlava (Czech Republic) in early 2012.