Den portugisiske regering har fået udarbejdet en plan for at mindske it-omkostningerne for den offentlige sektor i landet, hvor open source indgår som en vigtig del, der i alt skal kunne give en årlig besparelse på op mod 3,7 milliarder kroner.
Det oplyser den portugisiske open source-interesseorganisation ESOP ifølge en pressemeddelelse.
Udover open source skal besparelserne komme fra eksempelvis større overordnet planlægning af it-projekter og standardisering af software i staten.
Til det sidste punkt knytter ESOP dog den kommentar, at organisationen råder staten til at skelne mellem udgifter til køb af software og investeringer i software, hvor en del af investeringen går til lokale it-virksomheder, som skal implementere systemerne.
Derfor kan en besparelse på eksempelvis en stor licensaftale med en softwareleverandør ikke direkte sidestilles med den samfundsmæssige gevinst, der potentielt kan opnås ved at købe ydelser hos lokale leverandører.
ESOP - Portuguese Open Source Business Association, has recently become acquainted with the Global Strategic Plan to Rationalize and Decrease ICT Costs in Public Administration, a document made available by the Portuguese Government , which estimates that can be saved up to 500 million Euros a year in administrative expenditure. This effort is lead by Project Group for Information and Communication Technologies (PGICT), a special project group created by a resolution of the Council of Ministers ( 46/2001).
Whether or not the strategic plan exists only as a consequence of the Portuguese financial situation ESOP considers this to be is an ambitious initiative which, generally speaking, points in the right direction. The concept of ICT optimization must be kept, whatever the financial conditions are.
Having taken part in preliminary consultations, ESOP wishes to take a stand with regards to the contents of this plan, as well as underline the public nature of its own agenda for the IT sector. This press release addresses both responsibilities.
Overall, ESOP endorses the outlined measures contained in this plan and should like to highlight a few of them, deemed to be of critical importance:
- Architecture, standards and guidelines for Information Technologies and Systems
- Interoperability in public administration
- Adoption of Open Source software in state-run IT systems
- Cataloguing, sharing and standardizing of state-commissioned software
- Cost-effectiveness as principle found in several procedures
- Strategic planning as principle as opposed to laissez faire
While cost-effectiveness is a matter of unquestionable necessity, ESOP would like to stress that it should not lead to a halt in IT investment. The key issue is the distinction between cost and investment, and their different economic impacts.
For example, the securing of license discounts from the “usual” providers (most of the expenses amount to imported goods) is economically very different from granting opportunities to local companies, even if the first order savings are the same. In addition, the redundant development of similar software in several unrelated areas of public administration is quite different from the sharing of each state-commissioned development. If the resulting software is shared, even with a lower spending threshold the available technology can be continually increased and put to work to improve on service performance. The cataloguing and standardizing of State-commissioned software is one of the outlined measures in this Strategic Plan.
If thoroughly planned and diligently executed, the adoption of Open Source software may well contribute to significant cuts in public spending; it may also prove a strong incentive to the national companies providing this sort technology. If the adoption of Open Source software has not been as steadfast as would be natural that is, among other reasons, a direct consequence of purchase policies which tend to completely overlook interoperability, as well as of serious flaws in technology-related public tendering.
This sort of situation is not at all compatible with the outlined Strategic Plan, which clearly lays down the principle of respect for Open Standards and an incentive to the adoption of Open Source software. Should it last, the plan has failed.
Documents issued by ESOP
ESOP has repeatedly called for additional transparency: in public tendering, in technology-related issues and in decision-making processes in general.
Therefore, having taken part in preliminary discussions with the PGICT, discussions which inevitably included other sections of society, ESOP would like to be an example of fair play for every intervening party, by granting access to all the documents made available to the group.
These documents contain ESOP’s stance on this matter and can be found online
Call for excellence in ICT practices
ESOP wishes to publicly acknowledge the vital work developed by AMA  and the PGICT in the areas of Open Standards and ICT strategy. AMA is also in charge of the forthcoming regulation which will serve as complement to the Open Standards Law (Law 36/2011) , a critical factor for the well functioning of the IT market in the years to come. The implementation of the Global Strategic Plan will be more challenging than the successful task of achieving political consensus regarding the text itself.
ESOP remains available for whatever discussions and taks prove helpful to the success of national ICT strategies and calls for their ambitious implementation. It is our firm belief that Portugal could become a European reference for ICT best practices in the next five years.
This Press Release is available at: