ALL GOVERNMENT SOFTWARE IN BULGARIA ARE NOW TO BE COMPULSORILY OPEN SOURCE
The South-Eastern European country Bulgaria has publlished a new amendment (recenlty passed in the parliament) authenticating a new Open Source policy as it requires that all software written for the government to be open source.
The advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr. Bozhidar Bozhanov, announced the news on his blog thanking his colleague and deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria for making the amendments to the Electronic Governance Act.
You can read the entire amendment here, but we will just post the highlight of the new law from article 58a:
Art. 58a. (New — SG. 50 of 2016, effective 01.07.2016) Upon preparation of technical and functional assignments for public procurement to develop, upgrade or implementation of information systems and e-services, administrative authorities must include the following requirements:
1. when the subject of the contract includes the development of computer programs:
a) computer programs must meet the criteria for open source software;
b) all copyright and related rights on the relevant computer programs, their source code, the design of interfaces and databases which are subject to the order should arise for the principal in full, without limitations in the use, modification and distribution;
c) development should be done in the repository maintained by the Agency in accordance with Art. 7c pt. 18;
This does not mean that the whole of Bulgaria will ditch Microsoft in favor of Linux and Open Source software because already existing proprietary software will not be impacted by this new law. According to Bozhanov, he believes that the main benefit is that..
.. whatever custom software the government procures will be visible and accessible to everyone. After all, it’s paid by tax-payers money and they should both be able to see it and benefit from it.
Soon, a new government agency will be formed to enforce the law and will set up the public repository for the software.
This is most definitely good news. We at Ubuntu Next congratulate Mr. Bozhanov and his team for their good work and we look forward to seeing other countries following suit.