FSFE responds to EC consultation on procurement
Free Software Foundation Europe has
provided the European Commission with input on modernising the
way in which public bodies buy software and related
"Across Europe, the public sector has a huge role in the
software market," says Karsten Gerloff, FSFE's President. "As
the European Commission is revising the rules of procurement,
we want to make sure that the new regulations and practices
will be much fairer to Free Software than the current ones."
In its response to the Commission's
FSFE emphasises the following points:
- When a public body contracts out software development, it should
have the right to use, study, share and improve the resulting
software. This is best achieved through a Free Software
- Public bodies should require new solutions to be based
- Competitive bidding should be the rule. Negotiated procedures
(direct negotiations between a public body and a seller) should
remain limited to exceptional cases.
- The rules should make clear that major software upgrades should
be treated in the same way as new purchases, and re-tendered in a
- Public bodies should figure future exit costs into the total
cost of any new solution.