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 services.
"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 consultation, 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 license.
- Public bodies should require new solutions to be based on Open Standards.
- 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 competitive process.
- Public bodies should figure future exit costs into the total cost of any new solution.