|| ||stanco <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|| ||email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|| ||Opinion on Brazil making Open Source mandatory in government|
|| ||Fri, 13 Jun 2003 06:52:37 -0400|
According to the report below, Brazil is making Open Source mandatory for 80%
of all computers in state institutions and businesses, setting up a "Chamber
for the Implementation of Software Libre."
While I think that Open Source in government is a good thing and have been
working towards that goal for many years, making it mandatory is an industrial
policy that may not succeed, which will hurt Open Source in the long run.
It is much better for governments to set up a real level playing field in
procurement policy and then let the market decide on merit. If a product can't
make it in the market without government mandates, then history has shown that
it won't make it with government mandates either. Brazil would have been
better off to have a policy to buy the best software for its technical needs,
whether it is Open Source or proprietary. In my opinion, Open Source would
succeed on the merits in most cases without the market distortions that
government preference programs cause. Ironically, if Brazil buys Open Source
just because it is Open Source rather than the best product, their citizens
will likely suffer long term.
If governments want to create a culture of Open Source in their country to
create an indigenous software industry (a noble goal), they are much better
off working in the area of Education Policy, rather than Procurement Policy.
To use a sports metaphor, Procurement Policy should be a race where the best
win, so it needs to be a scrupulously fair competition for all. Whereas
Education Policy is the practice and training exercises for the big race.
Using Procurement Policy for Open Source, ensures that Open Source wins
because they "knee cap" the competition, a morally unsatisfying "win". Using
Education Policy for Open Source ensures that Open Source wins because it
produces the best developers and software product.
Brazil should reconsider it strategy.
The Center of Open Source & Government
Open Source and eGovernment
Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute
George Washington University
[NSA Center of Excellence in Information Assurance]
2033 K Street, NW, Suite 340
Washington, DC 20006
The Brazilian Public Sector to Choose Free Software
Posted on Saturday, June 07 @ 01:24:07 EDT by yama
Nameless Foo writes " Translated Summary by Gonzalo Porcel
Original Story can be read here:
Rio de Janeiro, 2 June (EFE) The Brazilian government plans to migrate from
Windows to Linux 80% of all computers in state institutions and state-owned
businesses, informed the daily newspaper "Valor". This will be a gradual
migration, that will begin with a pilot project in one ministry and which will
be completed over a period of three years, according to official sources cited
by the financial daily.
The goal of the migration is to save money by finding alternatives to
expensive proprietary licenses. Highlighting the gradual phase-in approach
that the Brazilian government has adopted, Sergio Amadeu de Silveira, the
president of the National Institute of Information Technology, stated that "We
are not just going to do a hasty migration". He proceeded to say that "our
main concern is the security and the trust of our citizens. The biggest
resistance to any change comes from the existing cultural inertia".
The government, De Silveira explained, created two weeks ago the "Chamber for
the Implementation of Software Libre" to pave the way for the upcoming
A small part of the 2,095 million reals (about USD $700 million) that the
Brazilian government budgeted for information technology spending goes to
Microsoft, owner of the Windows OS. The government's decision to adopt Linux,
according to De Silveira, will boost the popularity of the operating system
among businesses and consumers. Moreover, it will foster the production of
local software and "democratize access to knowledge", said De Silveira.
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