The government of France clearly gets FLOSS. They have awarded a support contract for 350 FLOSS projects used in 15 governmental ministries. Software fixes are to be pushed upstream, too. France is “giving back” as they should. This is a fine example of doing the right thing. To further reduce costs the support contract has a sliding scale depending on how many ministries participate. The more ministries involved the less it costs per ministry. Taxpayers will like that one.
But it’s not just about costs:
“only one of the aims of the contract is to reduce costs. The providing of open source services should also lead to an increasing uptake within the ministries. Eight years ago a similar support contract had failed, LeMagIt writes. This resulted in project managers at the ministries falling back on expensive proprietary software solutions.”
Government of Canada, are you paying attention? FLOSS can work for all governments. We can get better IT by paying for services rather than licences. I would bet that in a year or two, if this scheme works as expected more governments will do the same thing. Munich was an early adopter and did not get the economies of scale that France should get. Giving back updates should make the whole world of IT a better place.
Read it an weep, closed-minded folk, French government awards two million support contract for open source | Joinup.