[Linux-aus] Has M$ bought off the SA Govt ?

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Wed Jul 16 09:04:01 UTC 2003

On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 09:01:47PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 12:53:05PM +0800, Leon Brooks wrote:
> > I think the politicians often take their eye off the ball in terms of 
> > who's making the choices which are in such deep contention. 
> I don't think it's worth getting that worked up over this -- free
> software can compete on features; all we need to ensure is that we get
> rid of policies that make it impossible to use free software, not to
> make policies that make it impossible to use proprietary software.


Thus the founding principles on what OSV agreed should be the mandate call
for governments in Australia:

* That governments should mandate the use of open, documented and 
inter-operable file formats and data communication protocols, rather than 
specific products or suppliers.

* That it is in government departments' best interests to choose 
technologies which have implementations from more than one source, 
boosting the department's tactical leverage and hedging against any single 
supplier gaining lock-in and price gouging mechanisms.  Therefore this 
should be a formal requirement in departmental requisition policies.

* Preference should be given to technologies for which there is is a case 
to be made that local industry can benefit, and that imports can be 
replaced, helping improve our woeful balance of trade in ICT.
You will note:

1) There is no mention of Open Source at all
2) There is nothing here which is anti-closed source
3) This is a very simple formulae, memorable by everyone
4) There is no way to (reasonably) argue against this creed.
5) If entrenched in governmental purchasing policy, what it does do 
   however, is open the door fully to FOSS.

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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