Austria: Parliament majority is for Open Source

Sep 01, 2008

According to a survey by the Austrian broadcasting station ORF, the majority of the parliament is for supporting the use of open source in the public sector.

In early August, the ORF sent a questionnaire on the topic of Ee-government to the six parties who represent the Austrian parliament. The opening question was: "Should the use of open data formats, and open source software for public service be supported?" Four out of six of the parliament groups were in favor; the largest of the parties, the SPÖ, (Social Democratic party of Austria) answered with a close, "Yes, of course.“
The Green Party, the third biggest party in Austria, wants fair competition and to see a few more demonstrations from other software companies before they press on. The Future Alliance of Austria considers free software as an attractive alternative, and the Liberal Forum (LIF) viewed the open standards as a prerequisite for choosing software and to foster true competition.
The second largest organization, the Austrian Folks Party (ÖVP), were not able to make a decision, saying: "The public shouldn't give preferential treatment either to open source software or to proprietary software." In buying decisions, costs play a big roll, and the party considers the accessibility ofgeneral documents just as important.
Also, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) will not decide and pleaded for consideration in the particular case, although they considered open source with certain implications more flexible. The FPÖ spokesperson mentioned open source and freeware in one breath, so a clarification of terms was probably necessary.
The opinion poll answers are available online.

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