Italian Local Government Warms to Open Source

There is a natural tendency to concentrate on what is happening locally, and so most of the stories here on Open Enterprise are about what's happening in the UK, or developments that affect it directly. But it's important to remember that open...

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There is a natural tendency to concentrate on what is happening locally, and so most of the stories here on Open Enterprise are about what's happening in the UK, or developments that affect it directly. But it's important to remember that open source is a global development, and that things are bubbling away everywhere, all the time.

For example, a little while back, Iceland made some interesting announcements about open source. Now it seems that Italy is really starting to get serious:

The council of the Italian region of Puglia on Wednesday unanimously voted in favour of a law encouraging its public administrations to use free and open source software and to make publicly available its data. It is the first law that combines open source and open data, reports Leggi Oggi, an Italian legal news site.

The publication quotes council member Nicola Fratoianni, saying "the law is about the fundamental right of citizens to see what is behind a software application. To see how it works, to know the data and activities of public administrations."

What's interesting is that Puglia is not alone:

Public administrations in the Italian region of Calabria should increase their use of free and open source software, says Emilio De Masi, regional president for the IdV party (Italia dei Valori, Italy of Values). He drafted a law to encourage the use of this type of software.

At a press conference in the city of Crotone on June 30, De Masi estimated that the use of free and open source software in the region could save some 675 million euro. He explained that he aims to encourage public administrations in the Calabria region to use and develop free software.

As that makes clear, this is only a proposal in Calabria. But these things tend to snowball: the more that public administrations consider moving towards open source and open data, the more others start considering it too. That's true at a European level as well, so the more that the Italians start adopting open source, the more other countries may follow suit. Who knows? Maybe one day even UK local government will see the open source light....

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