Loic Dachary loic at gnu.org
Wed Jan 16 14:51:39 UTC 2002


	I think it is important that people from the Free Software
community answer / comment this questionaire. I'll answer shortly and
cc: to this list. The first remark is that I will comment from a Free
Software point of view and it will be significantly different from an
Open Source point of view.



Dear Public Sector representative,

The European Union recently published the "Study into the use of Open source
Software in Public Sector" (link in the "Highlight" column of the IDA portal
http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ida/ )
The next step is now the feasibility study of a Pooling Open Source service
allowing administrations to share and exchange their software.

Please CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEBATE !    It may be a milestone for public OPEN

Read the summary hereafter, respond to questions and /or send us your own
ideas. All opinions (technical, legal, economical) will be considered.  
Attachments and response may also be given in an other language than English
or French (we will try to translate).
Contributors will be mentionned inside the Study.

Please feel FREE TO DISTRIBUTE the present mail to colleagues / competent
members of your administration.

Answer as soon as possible to:
Patrice-Emmanuel SCHMITZ - patrice-emmanuel.schmitz at be.unisys.com
Sebastien CASTIAUX - sebastien.castiaux at be.unisys.com
Unisys Strategic Studies Practice   


An important quantity of software applications has been developed by and for
the administrations.
Some of these applications have been specially developed and has advanced
technical or functional characteristic in specific domains such as internal
management, electronic exchanges with citizens, enterprises or other

Right now these applications are "best practices" in their domain.

However, facing similar needs, our administrations (the European Community
or in Member States, at national, regional or local level) are developing
"from scratch" applications already made elsewhere. Re-use and sharing
existing solutions could lead to better use of public funds.

The "Pooling Open Source" study objective is to analyze the conditions of
re-use of sharing.

The "Pooling Open Source" study is an initiative of European Union - DG
Entreprise - Program IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations).
A symposium (held in February 2001) and a study related to use of Open
Source in public sector (<http://www.europa.eu.int/ispo/ida>) brought needs
to the fore. The "Pooling Open Source" study has to go further and prepare
service set up.

Scope and Questions:
The sharing objective is not necessarily to spend less but to spend better:
	-	Speed up innovation by using funds to develop new
applications and not to re-invent the wheel.
	-	Allow countries to beneficiate of the advance of other
countries: comparative studies showed "leading administrations" having made
significant advances in one or several specific domains.
	-	Promote collaboration between European administrations.

Putting in place this sharing assumes the analysis of some questions.
	-	What is the interest for this service and political
willingness to share what was developed inside administrations?
	-	What could be the legal framework of sharing?
			o	Rights: check if the administration owns
copyright on its software (either they were developed by its services or by
contract with service providers)
			o	License: under which license could that
software be distributed. Even if needs are almost similar, cultural,
language and national regulations differences lead inevitably to
adaptations. That's why the license should be free or "Open-Source" allowing
to modify code and re-distribute software, from which the study name
"Pooling Open Source"
			o	Responsibility issues
	-	What is the economic impact?
			o	Risk of competing with companies?
			o	On the opposite, opportunity to concentrate
investment on innovation (more innovative markets proposed to companies,
internal developments) 
			o	Who should beneficiate of this sharing? Only
administrations? Companies? Public?
			o	What can be the role of companies
(development partners/support partners)?
	-	What should be the service?
			o	How to inform users about existing software
considering various languages and cultures?
			o	How to guide users though existing solutions
(Solutions developed by Member state, regions, governmental agencies, local
			o	Guided search engines.
			o	How to organize support for available
			o	Running of the portal site "Pooling Open
				*	Content
				*	Update / maintenance
				*	Technical issues

Questions :

	1.	Please identify clearly yourself and the public sector
service(s) you are coordinating or representing
	2.	Do you own or represent rights on software developed by or
for the administration (for internal needs or for exchange with other
administration, citizens or companies)?

		If "Yes", what are the application domains (accounting,
human resources management, etc...)? (If needed, join annex)

	3.	According to your estimation, could some of that software be
used or adapted for other administrations in your country or in Europe?

	4.	Would you agree to allow open source sharing of your
software under conditions?

		If "Yes", under conditions of a license which would allow:
			o	Downloading of the source code on demand.
			o	Code modification by user under his
			o	Code integration in other software
			o	New code re-distribution to other users
			o	Other condition (please specify)

		Do you already know a convenient license model?

		Would you like a quick reference guide for choosing license

	5.	Do you wish to be able to control/limit users group of your
			o	Only administrations
			o	Service providers who make developments for
			o	Public (e.g. consultants)

	6.	According to you, which reasons could prevent sharing your
			o	Legal issues (why?)

			o	Economic issues (why?)

			o	Other (please specify)

	7.	Could an European portal site help you to...
			o	Make your software known
			o	Get feedback about your software
			o	Get software/components for your
			o	Get information through users group,
communities, forum... (Success story principle)
			o	Be aware of evolution of the market
			o	Other (please specify)

	8.	What could be your contribution to a pool of open source
			o	Users support?
			o	Documentation?
			o	Update/maintenance?
			o	Opinions, case study
			o	Tests
			o	Other (please specify)

	9.	Would you (your administration) be interested in the
possibility to use software developed elsewhere (for or by other
administrations, possibly from other European country)?


Loic   Dachary         http://www.dachary.org/  loic at dachary.org
12 bd  Magenta         http://www.senga.org/      loic at senga.org
75010    Paris         T: 33 1 42 45 07 97          loic at gnu.org
        GPG Public Key: http://www.dachary.org/loic/gpg.txt

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