November 21, 2001

France towards open e-Government

Author: JT Smith

Government agency to enforce open standards and promote Open Source / Free Software.

Paris, Munich, Amsterdam - 2001-11-21: France Committee for e-Government announced today that the French Agency for e-Government (ATICA) would be in charge of selecting open standards to be enforced all over public administrations in order to guarantee full interoperability. The French Agency for e-Government, which is also officialy in charge of promoting Open Source / Free Software, is going to select in 2002 the copyright license, based on existing Open Source / Free licenses, under which future software developments may be published.

EuroLinux welcomes this move. An EU country now officialy endorses open standards and Open Source / Free Software through an
application law. It confirms the adoption of Open Source / Free Software within European public administrations. For Harmut Pilch, president of the FFII, "projects including the SLIS communication server for schools, the Mioga toolkit for extranet or the Yihaw portal component for Zope have proven that the use of Open Source / Free Software through customisation and maintenance contracts between public administrations and commercial software companies is an efficient and sustainable economic model for software infrastructure."

Bernard Lang, Vice President of the French-speaking Linux User Association (AFUL) adds: "Open Source / Free Software is the best
guarantee for citizens to know what kind of information they exchange with governments". With Open Standards & Free Software, e-Government
preserves privacy, individual liberties, and the right for every citizen to access public information. "Open Standards & Free Software
are the best technologies to build trust between e-Government and
citizens" says Luuk van Dijk, Spokesperson of the Dutch Open Source
Association (VOSN).

Open Standards and Open Source / Free Software are also required to
accelerate the construction of e-Governement at the European Union
level. As stated by French MP Jean-Yves Le Déaut back in an April
2000 proposal of Law, "open communication systems and source code
availability are compulsory in order to guarantee at the European
level a high level of interoperability between information systems
of public administrations". EuroLinux strongly urges all national
governments and the European Commission to officialy endorse open
standards and to consider the use of open source / free software.

EuroLinux suggests to upgrade the IDA programme of the European Union into a European Agency for e-Government in charge of harmonising open standards between national e-governments and coordinating the publication of reference Open Source / Free Software implementations. The adoption of Open Standards and Open Source / Free Software in Europe is the fastest path to an open, trustable, privacy savvy, interoperable and competitive e-Governement in Europe.

"Next generation e-Government has two requirements: interoperability
and transparency. These are the two strengths of open source software.
Therefore, I am taking little risk when I predict that open source
software will take a crucial part for the development of e-Government in the years to come" summarises Michel Sapin, French Minister in charge of Public Administration and e-Governement.



Application Law which creates ATICA -

The Carcenac report which agrees to enforce open standards in public administrations and adopt open source / free software -

The Le Déaut / Paul / Cohen / Bloche proposal of Law which suggested the creation of an Agency in charge of enforcing open standards in public administrations - 117 12-99.html

Michel Sapin Statements on e-Governement -

About EuroLinux -

The EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure is an
open coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations united to promote and protect a vigourous European Software Culture based on Open Standards, Open Competition, Linux and Open Source
Software. Companies, members or supporters of EuroLinux develop or
sell software under free, semi-free and non-free licenses for
operating systems such as Linux, MacOS or Windows.

The EuroLinux Alliance launched on 2000-06-15 an electronic petition
to protect software innovation in Europe. The EuroLinux petition has
received so far massive support from more than 90.000 European citizens, 2000 corporate managers and 300 companies.

Press Contacts

France & Europe: Jean-Paul Smets - +33-6 62 05 76 14
Germany & Europe: Hartmut Pilch - +49-89 127 89 608
Denmark and Northern Europe: Anne Ãstergaard -
Belgium: Nicolas Pettiaux -
Netherlands: Luuk van Dijk -

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