Free Software activities in Spain

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Cenatic, the National Reference Centre for Open Source Software of the Spanish government, published an overview of what’s going on in Free Software (Open Source Software as they call it) in Spanish government. The report “Open Source Software for the Development of the Spanish Public Administration” is also available in English.

Here’s a copy of the introduction by Carolina Grau (General Manager, Cenatic and Jesús M. González Barahona, Rey Juan Carlos University, Group GsyC/LibreSoft):

“On a regular basis, and through the organisations belonging to the central administrations, it is possible to access quantitative data concerning the use of new technologies in public administrations, as well as details on the investments made. Such organisations include the National Institute of Statistics or, more recently, the National Observatory of Telecommunications and the Information Society.
Studies also exist that present a detailed view on the position of open source software in local administrations and reports that contain broad recommendations on the lines the public administrations in general should follow to successfully adopt plans in the development of free software and to comply with the regulations established by law.

Nevertheless, to date no report exists with such a comprehensive picture as presented here. This report, the first drawn up by the National Observatory for Open Source Software at CENATIC, captures an up-to-the-minute and all-embracing global view of the situation that the development of free software in public administrations is experiencing in Spain. “Open Source Software for the Development of the Spanish Public Administration. An Overview”, is a project that brings together different elements, making it unique in the specialist bibliography of Spain on technologies and free software.

The study collects quantitative data on the spread of open source software in public administrations and analyses in depth the most outstanding paradigmatic study cases for the adoption of open source software. In addition, it introduces the most important legal aspects to take into account when deciding on this type of software in the public administration. It also provides an exhaustive review from the perspective of supply and demand for open source software projects promoted by public administrations.
All this is further complemented by a comparative view of the situation that the development of free software is undergoing in other public administrations beyond Spanish borders, particularly within the European Union.

Finally, one of the greatest and most valuable contributions of this document is the detailed proposal of recommendations issued by a group of specialist experts, whom we have brought together from the National Observatory for Open Source Software to incorporate their opinions into this report. These recommendations will serve as a guide to those public administrations and organisations concerned with assessing the best methodology for introducing the model of free software development into their own work groups, as well as companies and communities interested in participating proactively in these initiatives.

In summary, these many merits make this report a highly valuable document for developers, for those responsible for making decisions, managers, companies interested in exploring possible business paths in this area, development communities who wish to add their efforts to the development of the software for public administrations and anyone who may be interested in a more accurate understanding of the development of open source software in public administrations in Spain.”

The complete document can be found at Cenatic’s website, where they also published a basic guide on free software in Spanish.