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<html newsdate="2021-12-16">
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<head>
<title>Lack of public code cost the city of Stockholm €100 million</title>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Lack of public code cost the city of Stockholm €100 million</h1>
<p>
<i>Öppna skolplattformen</i> was developed out of the frustration of some parents
in Stockholm when they noticed some irregularities and security issues in the
proprietary school platform provided by the city. The original app cost the
city one billion Swedish krona (around €100 million) and it turned out to be
badly flawed.
</p>
<figure>
<img src="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/089c7baba968418669601f56d1f72d86.png" alt="PMPC"/>
</figure>
<p>
Administrations are relying more and more on digital solutions to improve their
workflows and to make daily processes easier. This was exactly the case of the
city of Stockholm and its original <i>Skolplattformen</i>. This platform was meant to
be used as a common digital platform for Stockholm's kindergartens and schools,
by giving parents information about their children's school directly to their
devices. However, the platform did not work as expected, and once some parents
took a closer look at the software, they found numerous flaws in the app.
</p>
<p>
This frustrating situation made them decide to reverse-engineer the platform's
API to create a Free Software alternative - <a href="https://github.com/kolplattformen/skolplattformen">Öppna skolplattformen</a> -
that offers a simpler, faster, and more secure experience. Despite these efforts,
the city of Stockholm was neither happy nor willing to collaborate with the
team of <i>Öppna skolplattformen</i>, and instead decided to start a legal investigation
and fill out a police report against the developers of the app arguing misuse
of personal data.
</p>
<blockquote>
<p>"If we could use openness as our competitive advantage and do much better collaboration with each other, we could start seeing a lot of potential for Europe to be more competitive in terms of global economy."
<cite>Christian Landberg, co-founder and developer of Öppna skolplattformen </cite>
</p>
</blockquote>
<p>
This is the story of a struggle of some parents trying to fix the problems
that pricey proprietary software brought, and a skeptical administration that
found itself trapped in a serious vendor lock-in. With Christian
Landberg - co-founder and developer of <i>Öppna skolplattformen</i> - and Alexander
Crawford - early supporter and strategic, policy and communication advisor of
<i>Öppna skolplattformen</i> - we talked in depth about the Open School Platform.
What drove them to release it under a Free Software license, its progress and
current situation, and what lies ahead for this platform, but also for the use
of public code in the public sector?
</p>
<video preload="none" controls="controls" width="100%">
<source src="https://download.fsfe.org/videos/pmpc/OpenSchoolPlatform.mp4"
type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"' />
</video>
<p>Video (in English)</p>
<blockquote>
<p><i>"Öppna skolplattformen</i> is becoming a snowball that has escalated and it's changing the conversation around civic tech and digitalisation of public sector."
<cite>Alexander Crawford, early supporter and advisor of Öppna skolplattformen</cite>
</p>
</blockquote>
<h2>Public Money? Public Code!</h2>
<p>
Over the last four years, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has been
advocating for more software freedom in the public sector in the framework of
the Public Money? Public Code! initiative. It requires that publicly financed
software developed for the public sector should be made publicly available under
Free Software licenses. The arguments for this demand are based on the benefits
that Free Software can foster, such as saving long-term costs, promotion and
support of the local economy, transparency, interoperability, and more.
</p>
<p>
You can support this call by <a href="https://publiccode.eu/">joining our
campaign</a>, <a href="/activities/publiccode/brochure">distributing our brochure</a>, and convincing <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/ContactingAdministrationsForPMPC">your local administration</a> to use Free Software.
</p>
</body>
<tags>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="pmpc">Public Money? Public Code!</tag>
<tag key="procurement">Public procurement</tag>
<tag key="public-administration">Public administration</tag>
<tag key="education">Education</tag>
</tags>
<discussion href="https://community.fsfe.org/t/787"/>
<image url="https://pics.fsfe.org/uploads/big/089c7baba968418669601f56d1f72d86.png" alt="PMPC"/>
</html>