Hungary Hungry for Open Source

Europe is opening up by leaps and bounds, from the Gendarme in France to German embassies around the world. There is one more to add to the score, as last week the Hungarian government announced it too will be going Open Source, in a big way.

In the past, the Hungarian government's rules for procurement have specified specific, generally proprietary, vendors who were to be utilized, leaving the possibility of Open Source adoption out in the cold. That is a thing of the past, however, according to Deputy Information Technology Minister Ferenc Baja, who announced during a press conference last Thursday that the government's procurement rules will be modified not just to allow consideration of Open Source software, but to earmark for Open Source software an equal amount of money to that earmarked for proprietary purchases. This will reportedly open up some €40 million for Open Source procurement.

The CEO of ULX Open Source Consulting, a Hungarian FOSS provider, offered his thoughts on the move: "It will be the first time that open source solutions will gain the same equal status as proprietary vendors in centralised public sector tenders," said the executive, Gábor Szentiványi. "This recognition of open source by the Hungarian government will hopefully also encourage the private sector to investigate the potential of non-proprietary software to cut cost during these tough economic times."

According to reports, tendering for Open Source public sector and education projects will open to vendors within the next few weeks.
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Justin Ryan is News Editor for LinuxJournal.com.
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