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