The European Parliament wants its IT department to rehabilitate its Linux desktop pilot. On Tuesday, the EP's committee on budgetary control accepted a request by MEPs Bart Staes and Amelia Andersdotter to dust off the Linux desktop, which had been shelved in 2012. In their amendment, the MEPs write they regret that the Linux distribution was never promoted among those in the parliament "who would have had an interest in such a project".
The two want the pilot revamped and that this time it is opened to interested MEPs and staffers. "We would have a better platform for integrating end-to-end encryption and security", Andersdotter explained, adding she would sign up for the pilot immediately. "It would also be an example to the many public authorities around Europe who are investigation open source alternatives for themselves and local industries."
Staes and Andersdotter, both of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance also 'insist' that the IT department starts replacing its legacy systems with 'open, interoperable and non-vendor dependent' ICT solutions.
The EP's committee on budgetary control on Tuesday and Wednesday voted on many recommendations tacked on to the 2012 financial reports by the European institutions. Following the approval in the committee, the reports are now up for vote during the EP's plenary session in April.
Staes and Andersdotter also submitted amendments to the discharge of the budget of the European Commission. Here they express concern that the EC "has made no steps towards preparing open, public tenders for ICT, based on transparent criteria and functional specifications rather than brand names". They urge the EC to make sure that when consolidating ICT systems, it bases these on open standards that can be implemented in open source software.
Andersdotter: "The European institutions should enjoy the liberty of choice and the freedom to determine their own working environments, both as nstitutions, and as employees. At this moment, the institutions are not free to do so."