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[News] Information Resources for Spreading of Free Software in Public Sector

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Helping OSS adoption in public administrations: some resources

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| It was a busy and happy week, and among the many things I received several 
| requests for information on how to facilitate adoption of OSS by public 
| administrations. After the significant interest of a few years ago, it seems 
| that the strong focus on “digital citizenship” and the need to increase 
| interoperability with other administrations is pushing OSS again (and the 
| simplification, thanks to the reduction in procurement hurdles, also helps). 
| I have worked in this area for some years, first in the SPIRIT project (open  
| source for health care), then in the COSPA and OpenTTT projects, that were 
| oriented towards facilitating OSS adoption. I will try to provide some links 
| that may be useful for administrations looking to OSS:        


HU: Procurement continues to puzzle open source companies 

,----[ Quote ]
| The Hungarian government's request for open source software is continuing to 
| surprise the country's open source companies. 
| The companies have been studying the procurement document ever since it was 
| published on 16 April. "We are desperate. We just cannot find open source in 
| it. It is not in there at all", said a representative of a group of open 
| source companies, who declined to be named. "Maybe the reason is that this 
| tender is focusing on open standards. It is also possible the government does 
| not see the difference."     



Hungarian government goes 50 per cent open source

,----[ Quote ]
| The Hungarian government has announced that it will be modifying procurement
| rules to allow open source to be used in public sector organisations.
| Previously, procurement rules had apparently named vendors such as Microsoft
| and Novell. The new rules, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for
| information technology, will allocate the same amount of money to acquiring
| open source products as to proprietary products. The move was announced at a
| press conference on April 2nd.


HU: Government withdraws tender requesting proprietary software

,----[ Quote ]
| The Hungarian Central Board for Services, the country's public procurement
| authority, this Tuesday withdrew a tender requesting Microsoft and Novell
| software, worth 25 billion HUF (about 100 million euro). The organisation did
| not provide an explanation.


HU: Hearing on Competition Office complaint over Microsoft deal

,----[ Quote ]
| The Metropolitan Court's (Fővárosi Bíróság) second hearing on a complaint by
| Hungary's Competition Office over a government software tender
| requesting "Microsoft or equivalent solutions" is scheduled for 1 September,
| the Hungarian IT news site IT Cafe reports.
| The Competition Office in March decided to take the Hungarian Public
| Procurement Authority to court for refusing to annul the 25 billion HUF
| (about a 100 million euro) tender. The request to cancel the software tender
| was filed earlier that same month by three Hungarian IT companies
| specialising in Open Source software solutions, ULX, Multiráció and Open SKM.
| The companies say that the tender is anti-competitive since it explicitly
| calls for Microsoft products.
| The Public Procurement Authority denied the request.


Steve Ballmer Receives the Egg-treatment in Budapest

,----[ Quote ]
| Update#2: OK, enough of the fun part. As the story circulates people start
| wondering what may be the background, and since the only sources are in
| Hungarian, here’s a summary of the circumstances:
|     A Hungarian Government bid, worth $25B Hungarian Forints, roughly $157M
|     was allegedly skewed towards MS. (A ‘competitive’ bid with wording that
|     all but ensures only Microsoft meets the requirements.) A Hungarian
|     Watchdog Body (sort of like the FTC in the US) challenged the bidding
|     process via the Court system, and a trial date was set for today. The
|     trial was suddenly and unexpectedly rescheduled just as Ballmer arrived
|     in Budapest. So there may be a perception of the Bully lobbying there.



MSOOXML: What Happened in Hungary

,----[ Quote ]
| If you can't do the math, I think the bottom line is, it's looking like
| Microsoft won't let the world say no to OOXML. It couldn't ram it through the
| usual process, with the folks who understand the tech, even with some very
| odd technical committee chairperson goings on. This is the standard that
| couldn't win on merit, in short.    


Microsoft Office raid in Hungary

,----[ Quote ]
| Such behavior could lead to the exclusion of competitive products from
| the market and violate European Union rules, according to the authority
| known as the GVH.

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