On January 19th, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGS) sent a request for information regarding Free Software ». this request aimed at « helping the Government of Canada to establish guidelines for the planification, the acquisition, the use and the transfer to Free Software. Whereas the Governement shows no real interest to Free Software, there are still some questions that need precisions (see below). From an operational point of view, it is necessary to elaborate fair, open, transparent common guidelines that can be applied in all the ministries in a coherent way. »
Here are some of the questions that were asked:
- Q2. What are reasonable criteria that the Crown should consider in a decision process for acquiring No Charge Licensed Software? Are there circumstances in which the acquisition of No Charge Licensed Software would not be advisable?
- Q3. What factors other than price should be considered as part of an evaluation guideline for No Charge Licensed Software? Are there other factors beyond those outlined in Appendix A & B that the Crown should consider?
- Q4. How should existing Government Furnished Equipment, Services, Service Level Agreements and internal resources be considered when evaluating the usage of No Charge Licensed Software?
One of Savoir-faire Linux’ answer is the necessity to use Free Software in the Governemnt: « We consider Free Software as a technologic necessity. It is the only alternative able to fit the new needs of the organisations information system. »
« Indeed they have become highly integrated, complex, heterogeneous and in constant mutation. It is the last point that invalidates all past economic indicators such as the TCO or the ROI since they were based on a stiff vision, vertical and static of the organization, as seen in the 20th century enterprises. This is not the reality anymore. Nowadays, in many cases, the organization and its information system are one and the cost of change becomes the main question. How should the organizations deal with these numerous interactions and these constant mutations while mastering the costs at the same time? This is where Free Software becomes the only feasible alternative and where Proprietary Software reaches its limit. »