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Hungarian government goes 50 percent open source

by greenfinity last modified 2009-04-06 16:07

The modification of the public procurement rules was announced at a press conference on April 2nd, Budapest. As a result, open source software gets green light in the Hungarian public sector.

The Hungarian government has announced that it will be modifying procurement rules to allow open source to be used in public sector organisations. Previously, procurement rules had apparently named vendors such as Microsoft and Novell. The new rules, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology, will allocate the same amount of money to acquiring open source products as to proprietary products. The move was announced at a press conference on April 2nd.

This means that a budget of around 40 million euros will be available to be tendered for by open source vendors as part of the centralised tendering process. The idea is to provide a fair competition and to entice companies into the open source mindset.

The vendors will be able to begin the process of tendering for open source based projects in the public sector and higher education establishments in a few weeks. "In 2009, we would like to test the waters to see how the institutions cope with the challenges of implementing open source products. We hope that they take advantage of the new opportunities offered by the government" - said Gábor Bódi, state secretary of the Prime Minister's Office.

Experts also highlight that the new procurement rules shall initiate a new model of cooperative development in the public sector and local governments.

In January, three Hungarian companies filed a complaint at the European Commission for unfair government practices in software acquisition, accusing the government to be positively biased towards Microsoft products.


MTI Hungarian News Agency Corporation (in Hungarian)