diff --git a/news/2010/news-20100802-01.en.xhtml b/news/2010/news-20100802-01.en.xhtml new file mode 100644 index 0000000000..12b37f7fd6 --- /dev/null +++ b/news/2010/news-20100802-01.en.xhtml @@ -0,0 +1,92 @@ + + + + German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements + + + +

German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements

+ +

Survey finds only 2 of 87 departments are conforming to federal open +document regulations

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Research published this week suggests that the majority +of federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to + implement Open + Standards.

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A survey was conducted by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) to + investigate the state of government adoption of ODF, and to promote wider + uptake of Open Standards. "Although federal policy has wisely embraced Open + Standards for interoperability, accessibility and security, it is clear that + most government bodies are still using inefficient proprietary formats" said + Karsten Gerloff, President of FSFE. "Ultimately citizens will end up paying + the + price for this lack of conformity through higher bills for public IT + contracts, + and slower services due to interoperability problems" he added. "They + will also pay a price in freedom, as they are forced to use + proprietary software and standards to communicate with government + authorities".

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Since the beginning of 2010, the German Information Technology Council +(Rat der IT-Beauftragten) has required state departments to support Open +Document Format (ODF) in order to communicate with the growing number of +individuals and organisations that use it. The policy, which is based upon the +findings of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee - a panel of experts +from the federal + administration, requires that departments have the capacity to read, write +and + send ODF files.

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When 87 letters were sent to the ministries challenging them to +demonstrate + their conformance by replying in the open format, only two of them replied +in + ODF as requested. The Chancellor's Office and the Ministry of Food, + Agriculture + and Consumer Protection (BMELV) were the sole respondents to use the correct + format. Five other federal bodies responded: all of whom underlined the + importance of Open Standards to them. Despite claiming that they were + ODF capable however, instead used other non-ODF formats for their + response.

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Usage of ODF continues to grow in public institutions throughout the +world, and is already officially approved in ten separate national standards + organisations, in addition to being the mandatory standard for +communication between NATO's 26 member states. "The Chancellor's Office and +BMELV have set an example for Open Standards in public administration" +concluded Matthias Kirschner, German Coordinator of FSFE, "but overall there +is clearly a long way to go before practice meets policy for ODF in the German +public sector".

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FSFE shall continue to monitor ODF uptake in order to ensure the + protection of German citizens' right to communicate using Free + Software.

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The seven bodies that participated in the survey were:

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  1. Bundeskanzleramt (The Chancellor's Office)
  2. +
  3. Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und + Verbraucherschutz (BMELV)
  4. +
  5. Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) Bundesforschungsinstitut für + Kulturpflanzen
  6. +
  7. Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung
  8. +
  9. Bundesministerium des Innern
  10. +
  11. Bundespräsidialamt
  12. +
  13. Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die + Informationsfreiheit
  14. + +
+ + + + + +