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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2017-03-28">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>Input about Free Software for German OGP action plan published</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>Input about Free Software for German OGP action plan published</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">Today the civil society "working group OGP (Open
  9. Government Partnership) Germany" (Arbeitskreis OGP Deutschland) <a href="https://opengovpartnership.de/2017/03/2069/">published its
  10. input for a German OGP action plan</a>. The goal of the Open Government actions
  11. is to increase transparency, citizen friendlyness, reporting, and
  12. effectiveness of governments and administrations. The input, which was
  13. already handed over to the German Government on 20 March, consists of 30 Open
  14. Government topics, including a section about Free Software.</p>
  15. <p>In December 2016 Germany joined the Open Government Partnership. Until
  16. June 2017 a German action plan is to be developed and decided by the German
  17. government.</p>
  18. <p>To achieve this, on 17 February 2017 the German government invited
  19. representatives from the civil society to a workshop to develop input for a
  20. German action plan for the upcoming two years. After the workshop members of
  21. civil society groups further developed the suggestions published today. In
  22. the weeks to come the German federal ministries will examine the different
  23. suggestions, debate internally, and draft a national action plan with
  24. concrete goals. There will also be another workshop to discuss the
  25. goals between administrations and the civil society (see <a href="http://www.verwaltung-innovativ.de/DE/Internationales/OGP/zeitlicher_ablauf/zeitlicher_ablauf_node.html">the German timetable for the action plan by the German Government</a>).</p>
  26. <p>The OGP action plan will not just address the federal government but should
  27. also affect administrations in the German federal states and municipalities.</p>
  28. <h2>Input from the civil society about Free/Open Source Software</h2>
  29. <p>The Free Software Foundation Europe worked together with other German Free
  30. Software organisations and the "working group OGP Germany" to summarise the
  31. topic of Free Software in the Open Government context and develop concrete
  32. action items for the government.</p>
  33. <p>By publishing the input we hope to enable civil society actors around the
  34. world to learn about the OGP discussion in Germany, adapt suggestions to
  35. other countries' contexts, and to enable people to give further input to the
  36. German debate.</p>
  37. <p>Below a rough translation of our input originally written in German. (The
  38. <a
  39. href="https://opengovpartnership.de/files/2017/03/170323_Zivilgesellschaftliche_Empfehlungen_NAP_OGP.pdf">full
  40. submission is available in German at the website for the workgroup
  41. OGP</a>.)</p>
  42. <blockquote>
  43. <h3>Introduction into the topic</h3>
  44. <p>Open Government offers the possibility to make the activities of the state
  45. more persistent and plausible for its citizens. Open software achieves this
  46. with its open/free licensing which is proved as an international standard.
  47. The "Open Government Toolbox" sums up 1928 IT projects from 523 organisations
  48. to help in the transition to Open Government. The spectrum of this stunning
  49. collection shows the potential of Open Government software. From data
  50. visualisation to participation tools and on up to tools for local urban
  51. initiatives, numerous projects for administration and civil society are
  52. already freely accessible.</p>
  53. <ul>
  54. <li><strong>Recycling</strong>: Open Software can be used for various
  55. purposes and can be re-used. Once it is developed in the scope of a
  56. governmental tender, the software code can then be used by other
  57. administrations for similar problems. A good example is "Fix My Street":
  58. originally developed as a reporting tool for damage on roads in the
  59. United Kingdom, it is now also being used in Switzerland, Ireland,
  60. Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Uganda and Uruguay. As additionally developed
  61. extensions to the software and user experiences are shared between
  62. nations, all users benefit from the increasing use.</li>
  63. <li><strong>Independence</strong>: The use of Open Software offers more
  64. opportunities for procurement and selection of partners. A
  65. strategic "lock-in", a dependency on certain vendors, is avoided as the
  66. code can be maintained by other market competitors as well.</li>
  67. <li><strong>Neutrality of platforms</strong>: With open standards the
  68. public authorities can achieve more platform neutrality. Thereby they are
  69. no longer dependent on certain vendors and can choose a new one at any
  70. time.</li>
  71. <li><strong>Transparency</strong>: While conventional government software
  72. is a blackbox and is a proprietary secret, the source code of Open
  73. Government software is basically always available.</li>
  74. <li><strong>Participation</strong>: The Open Source code combined with a
  75. free license allows synergies of government agencies (with civil
  76. society), enterprises and citizens. Software provided by the state can
  77. be maintained and used by external users - and vice versa. Open
  78. Government software projects initiated by the state give an impetus for
  79. collaborative projects where various perspectives from administration,
  80. civil society, enterprises and citizens come together.</li>
  81. </ul>
  82. <p>For the implementation of the Open Government road map, new software will
  83. be developed. Open Government software should be accessible under a suitable
  84. Free/Open license [1] to enable re-use and sharing of solutions between
  85. authorities, companies and citizens.</p>
  86. <h3>Our vision until 2030:</h3>
  87. <p>Federal, regional and local administrations share their solutions with
  88. other administrations, companies and civil society. For new solutions, the
  89. participants can refer to a collection of pre-existing solutions, re-use and
  90. improve these and share them with everyone. All solutions guarantee use
  91. independent of the used platform. Neither citizens, companies nor
  92. administrations should be technically discriminated against. These German
  93. software solutions enjoy an excellent reputation in administrations, civil
  94. society, and commercial enterprises around the world. People enjoy using
  95. them and they are further developed by other programming groups. Therefore
  96. this results in investment protection and a higher sustainability for the
  97. public sector, which will be developed further by third-parties, even if
  98. individual German administrative authorities opt for other solutions.</p>
  99. <h3>Further information sources and links:</h3>
  100. <ul>
  101. <li>[1] Free/Open Source licensing model: See also the list of the <a href="https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html">Free Software Foundation</a> and of the <a href="https://opensource.org/licenses/category">Open Source Initiative</a></li>
  102. <li><a href="https://ogptoolbox.org/en/">OGP Toolbox</a></li>
  103. <li><a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/interoperability/search">EU Joinup solutions</a></li>
  104. <li><a href="http:///code.gov">USA Portal Code.Gov</a></li>
  105. <li><a href="https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/technology/making-source-code-open-and-reusable">UK: Proof of concept</a></li>
  106. <li><a href="http://fixmystreet.com/">Fixmystreet UK</a> - <a href="http://fixmystreet.org/">Fixmystreet OGS</a></li>
  107. <li><a href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/eupl/og_page/european-union-public-licence-eupl-v11">EUPL</a></li>
  108. <li><a href="https://fsfe.org/about/basics/freesoftware.html">Introduction into "Software Freedom" by FSFE</a></li>
  109. </ul>
  110. <h3>Suggestions for commitments by the workshop for a NAP two-pager</h3>
  111. <h4>Level 1: Suggestions for organising the process</h4>
  112. <ul>
  113. <li>Establishment of an expert group, containing members of federal, state
  114. and municipal administrations for re-use and sharing of open software for
  115. the state and the administration (Re-use and Share OSS). Therefore, at
  116. least twice a year, an internal dialogue can take place. There, the group
  117. can tap into the topic of Open Source software and understand it in terms
  118. of overlapping administrative needs. Due to this overlap, employees from
  119. all levels of the public administrations should be utilised as
  120. contributors and architects, and encouraged to integrate, share, and
  121. promote more re-use of the administration's software.</li>
  122. <li>Establishment of a workgroup with members from administration, civil
  123. society and companies for re-use and sharing of Free Software for the
  124. state and the administration. The workshop should take place at least
  125. twice a year to enable an exchange to listen to each other and receive
  126. feedback by the civil society for further conceptional development. There
  127. should be a strong link between the workgroup and the referring expert
  128. group (see paragraph above) in the administration. Thereby a transfer of
  129. knowledge into the public administration, and indirectly into politics,
  130. is ensured.</li>
  131. <li>Commissioning of a study running until December 2018 to do basic
  132. research about the cooperation in public administrations in usage of
  133. free/open software. It should consider both users and
  134. business/development associations so that national and international
  135. knowledge and practical experience from study and usage are taken into
  136. account. The full potential, with the help of workshops (Collaborative
  137. Design), should be outlined. With this approach, all relevant
  138. perspectives and proposals for implementation are available for the
  139. second National Action Plan.</li>
  140. <li>Conducting two <a href="http://plugfest.opendocumentformat.org/">"Plug
  141. Fest"</a> events in Germany until 2018 as Open Collaborative Workshops,
  142. where special departments of local authorities can be brought into
  143. technical dialogue with providers of document editing solutions. With
  144. those multi stakeholder events many countries in Europe have made
  145. positive experiences for increasing interoperability. </li>
  146. <li>Commission of a scientific study about open standards and open
  147. interfaces in public administrations (including open document formats) by
  148. June of 2018. With this the national and international knowledge and
  149. practical experience (Germany: SAGA 5.1.0, EU, Austria, Switzerland,
  150. France, Italy, Netherlands) will be taken into account. The full
  151. potential with the help of workshops (Collaborative Design) should be
  152. outlined so all relevant possibilities and proposals should be available
  153. for the second National Action Plan.</li>
  154. <li>Commission of an evaluation study about the accessibility and platform
  155. neutrality of public web interfaces by the federal authorities until
  156. January 2018. Through this we can achieve transparency about how certain
  157. user groups are technically discriminated against by the websites of the
  158. authorities and how these sites are accessible regardless of used
  159. devices. Based on this evaluation, best practices will be introduced
  160. simultaneously. Also, basic principles acting as suggestions for
  161. creating accessible and vendor-neutral websites for authorities as well
  162. as for public institutions will be presented.</li>
  163. </ul>
  164. <h4>Level 2: Precise legislative steps and regulation requirements</h4>
  165. <ul>
  166. <li>Establishment of the EU ISA2 law regarding the platform neutrality in
  167. the acquisition of web service until 2019, so that citizens can use
  168. public sector services regardless of the technology used by the citizens
  169. (Operating systems: Mac OS, Linux, Windows, Android / Browser: Firefox,
  170. Chrome, Internet Explorer.../ Hardware: Tablet, Desktop-PC, Smartphone,
  171. Thin Internet Client).</li>
  172. <li>Proposal for a law to set up a national software archive by 2019 which
  173. clarifies where German authorities and suppliers should deposit and store
  174. (long-term-archive) the source code, documentation, interface
  175. specifications and database schemes of their software solutions. This
  176. enables security checks and the preservation of our digital cultural
  177. heritage.</li>
  178. </ul>
  179. <h4>Level 3: Minimal measures (Mandatory programme)</h4>
  180. <ul>
  181. <li>Software, which is being commissioned or developed in the course of
  182. realising the OGP action plan, should re-use free/open software
  183. components and should be made accessible on the <a
  184. href="https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/">EU software
  185. platform joinup</a> and in the <a
  186. href="https://ogptoolbox.org/de/">"OGP Toolbox"</a>
  187. for other governments, companies and the civil
  188. society.</li>
  189. <li>Capacity-generating measures for the participation of Germany in the
  190. further development of the <a
  191. href="https://github.com/DISIC/foss-contrib-policy-template">
  192. Free/Open Source Software Contributor Policy Template in the OGP</a>
  193. (Bulgaria, France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
  194. have already pledged to do this).</li>
  195. <li>Until mid 2018 evaluation of which software, of those created during the
  196. implementation of the IT-planning council's action plan for 2017, can be
  197. made available in the OGP Toolbox under a free/open license by 2019.
  198. (See <a
  199. href="http://www.it-planungsrat.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Entscheidungen/21_Sitzung/20_Anlage1_Aktionsplan.html">Action
  200. Plan</a>)</li>
  201. <li>Federal government, federal states, and municipalities should
  202. communicate information about the cooperation between the authorities and
  203. other participants regarding software solutions to the EU portal Joinup
  204. for publication. This will make this kind of cooperation more popular and
  205. persuades other entities to participate.</li>
  206. </ul>
  207. </blockquote>
  208. </body>
  209. <tags>
  210. <tag>front-page</tag>
  211. <tag content="OpenGovernmentPartnership">OpenGovernmentPartnership</tag>
  212. <tag content="policy">policy</tag>
  213. <tag content="PublicAdministration">PublicAdministration</tag>
  214. </tags>
  215. </html>