More than thirty of Holland's total 443 city councils have so far signed a manifesto calling for vendor independence, interoperability and transparency in public sector IT. Among these the capital Amsterdam and several other large cities, such Eindhoven, The Hague and Enschede.
The 'Manifesto of Open Government Organisations' was launched on December 6 with the support of eight city councils. It defines four prerequisites for IT procurement. To begin with, signatories require vendor independence. From the manifesto: "All software can be maintained and supported by several vendors. All software can perform equally well on different platforms."
Another demand in the manifesto is interoperability. The city councils want "application independent interfaces, and support for open standards for text editing, email, middleware solutions, calendar and geographic information systems."
The manifesto is an initiative of the Dutch Ososs programme, that encourages public administrations to use open source software and open standards. Ososs states the demands should provide systems users enough freedom of choice. The manifesto should be a basis to provide proof of proper policy and execution by public administrations.
Bouke Koelstra, consultant at the Ososs project: "This will end the current situation where applications can only run on a single operating system. It means that in the cities that signed this manifesto the preferred IT solutions run on more than just Microsoft."
Koelstra expects an updated list of the cities that signed the manifesto to be published online later next week. Ososs made en English translation available. "The document is naturally released under a Creative Commons license." Ososs welcomes other parties to sign or use the document to make local versions.
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