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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2010-08-03">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body class="press release">
  7. <h1>German ministries flout IT open interoperability requirements</h1>
  8. <h2>Survey finds only 2 of 87 departments are conforming to federal open
  9. document regulations</h2>
  10. <p newsteaser="yes">Research published this week suggests that the majority of
  11. federal government departments in Germany are ignoring requirements to
  12. implement <a href="/projects/os/def.html">Open Standards</a>.</p>
  13. <p>A survey was conducted by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) to
  14. investigate the state of government adoption of ODF, and to promote wider
  15. uptake of Open Standards. "Although federal policy has wisely embraced Open
  16. Standards for interoperability, accessibility and security, it is clear that
  17. most government bodies are still using inefficient proprietary formats" said
  18. Karsten Gerloff, President of FSFE. "Ultimately citizens will end up paying the
  19. price for this lack of conformity through higher bills for public IT contracts,
  20. and slower services due to interoperability problems" he added. "They will also
  21. pay a price in freedom, as they are forced to use proprietary software and
  22. standards to communicate with government authorities."</p>
  23. <p>Since the beginning of 2010, the German Information Technology Council (Rat der
  24. IT-Beauftragten) has required state departments to support Open Document Format
  25. (ODF) in order to communicate with the growing number of individuals and
  26. organisations that use it. The policy, which is based upon the findings of the
  27. Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee - a panel of experts from the federal
  28. administration, requires that departments have the capacity to read, write and
  29. send ODF files.</p>
  30. <p>When 87 letters were sent to the ministries challenging them to demonstrate
  31. their conformance by replying in the open format, only two of them replied in
  32. ODF as requested. The Chancellor's Office and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture
  33. and Consumer Protection (BMELV) were the sole respondents to use the correct
  34. format. Five other federal bodies responded: all of whom underlined the
  35. importance of Open Standards to them. Despite claiming that they were ODF
  36. capable however, instead used other non-ODF formats for their response.</p>
  37. <p>Usage of ODF continues to grow in public institutions throughout the world, and
  38. is already officially approved in ten separate national standards
  39. organisations, in addition to being the mandatory standard for communication
  40. between NATO's 26 member states. "The Chancellor's Office and BMELV have set an
  41. example for Open Standards in public administration" concluded Matthias
  42. Kirschner, German Coordinator of FSFE, "but overall there is clearly a long way
  43. to go before practice meets policy for ODF in the German public sector".</p>
  44. <p>FSFE shall continue to monitor ODF uptake in order to ensure the protection of
  45. German citizens' right to communicate using Free Software.</p>
  46. <p>The seven bodies that participated in the survey were:</p>
  47. <ol>
  48. <li>Bundeskanzleramt (The Chancellor's Office)</li>
  49. <li>Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz (BMELV)</li>
  50. <li>Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen</li>
  51. <li>Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung</li>
  52. <li>Bundesministerium des Innern</li>
  53. <li>Bundespräsidialamt</li>
  54. <li>Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit</li>
  55. </ol>
  56. </body>
  57. <tags>
  58. <tag>front-page</tag>
  59. <tag content="Document Freedom Day">DFD</tag>
  60. <tag content="Open Standards">OpenStandards</tag>
  61. <tag>Policy</tag>
  62. <tag content="Public Administration">PublicAdministration</tag>
  63. </tags>
  64. </html>