Guidelines for the procurement of free and open source software in public administrators

TitleGuidelines for the procurement of free and open source software in public administrators
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBouras, C, Kokkinos, V, Tseliou, G, Filopoulos, A, Michalopoulos, S, Papadopoulos, D
Conference NameIADIS International Conference Information Systems Post-Implementation and Change Management 2012, Lisbon, Portugal
Date Published17-19 July

This paper provides a concise guide on Free and Open Source Software procurement for European Public Administrations to be used by elected representatives and decision makers, procurement and Information Technology managers and staff in addition to any existing national or European Union guidelines and regulations. This work provides definitions of basic terms, outlines the legal context and the main principles of software procurement and highlights good practices and recommended actions for Public Administrations. Although the adoption of Free and Open Source Software as a strategic choice has certain advantages for public organisations, the guidelines and resources provided in this paper also apply to both open source and proprietary software procurement procedures and scenarios, such as downloading and purchasing, in-house development and outsourcing. The main aspects addressed and guidelines provided include: planning and defining a procurement method, estimating costs and benefits, setting interoperability and the use of open standards as a priority, avoiding discriminating practices such as naming trademarks, understanding and assessing licensing schemes, software provision models and suppliers, and establishing fair tendering processes.