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How much a government law in Italy can be observed without radical changes ? Very little.
Undoubtedly the recent law about the use of the free and opensource software on the local administration is very interesting and it can be considered a revolution in Italy. Genuinely this change could be achieved with much difficulty (as happen nearly historically in Italy I think).
To know how this novelty is faced within a local administration, I addressed some questions to Valerio Stendardo, councillor for juvenile policies in a little town of South Italy.
- Why closed software is prefered within the public offices ?
I think that there are not preferences about the software choice, instead exists a type of acquiescence, the worker adapts himself to the software available and any change becomes a very difficult process. Changes are refused because they are source of troubles.
Certainly depending of local office workers; if the working staff is “dynamic”, every software change is perceived less in a passive way and it isn’t like an “order”.
Within public offices in Specchia we use proprietary software. We have a software that manages all interactions among the offices. It was introduced in 2009 and allowed to taking back all services out (for example, management of wages), so spending reduce with a single software and a single person for assistance.
- Which issues could rise from a permanent foss software adoption ?
I think that there are not problems excluding the trial period and the data migration. Replacing the “standard software” could lead adaptability troubles.
- According to the recent law approved by Monti government (n. 134 of the August,7 2012) “Public Administration and its advisors will compare technical and economic solutions available on the market to reduce the expenditure of the local administration. If “opensource solutions” will be not less expensive, then proprietary software acquisition will be allowed“. Will be never possible the opensource software and the open standard formats adoption in your opinion ?
For now in our town all documents are published in PDF and it is among those municipalities that since 2001 disseminates online its documents (since 2001 to 2009 in .doc format, since 2009 in .pdf format).
- Using free licenses would mean also that any family must not purchase the proprietary software license for home use or at least avoids the faked proprietary software. If we go out from “classic rule”, then we could have more benefits than problems. What do you think ?
In my opinion exist benefits. However the real issue is upstream: we must educate folks about use of free and opensource software starting from the schools.
It isn’t sufficient declare a region as “opensource”, we need launch an education campaign on use and popularization!
- Thank you Valerio.
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