The EKOP-1.2.15-2011-2011-0001 “E-Governmental Free Software Competence Centre” is a project under the Electronic Public Administration Operational Programme.
The main objectives are:
- to promote the growing share of open source applications in public administration;
- to increase the interoperability of different systems by information technology developments through the use of open source tools and the use of open standards.
The project highlights the importance of:
- reducing the cost of software licences in public administration;
- improving the quality of the governmental information technology services by enhancing the interoperability between different systems;
- improving the quality of governmental information technology services by spending the savings from reduced software licence costs on the development of service quality;
- the elimination of vendor lock-in in the case of national data assets by owning the software rights (use, development, further development, etc.).
The E-Governmental Free Software Competence Centre sets the target to support (give advice and technically support) several projects aimed at introducing free software in the public administration sector. The Free Software Competence Centre plans to document the process and the results in the form of case studies, which will definitely be of help for future free software migration projects.
To ensure the success of free software introduction and migration projects, the Free Software Competence Centre considers it extremely important to provide the projects with a professional knowledge base and background materials, therefore:
- To prepare for the support of the pilot projects, the Free Software Competence Centre writes and publishes a study about the results and observations of former Hungarian free software migration projects, and about the legal background in the European Union and in Hungary concerning the introduction and use of free software. Furthermore, another study is written which aims at examining international experiences, observations, results, and policies.
- The Free Software Competence Centre creates a free software framework, and guarantees to keep it up-to-date. As the first step in the creation of the framework, the Competence Centre examines the free software available for typical administrative and enterprise tasks, and evaluates them according to different criteria. The final framework will contain free software which the Competence Centre – based on the criteria – recommends for particular purposes, and, additionally, which are fully localized, supported, and can be widely distributed.
- The instructors of the Free Software Competence Centre give end user and system administration trainings at the institutions taking part in the pilot projects. The instructional and study materials accompanying the trainings will be made publicly available, enabling other institutions to make use of the resulting contents.
- One of the most important factors in choosing the free software to be introduced at public administration institutions is the full Hungarian localization of the given software, and in the case of end user software the availability of Hungarian documentation, as well. Therefore, the Free Software Competence Centre undertakes the task of localizing free software which are widely distributable and recommendable, but their localization is not satisfactorily secured, or if the provision of long-term localization was better ensured by a central organization. The Competence Centre localizes the LibreOffice office suite, Mozilla products (such as Firefox web browser, Thunderbird e-mail client), and the Ubuntu operating system, to name but a few.
- The Free Software Competence Centre creates a freely available knowledge base, which, on the one hand, contains the case studies, software documentations, professional and instructional materials, articles, etc. that are produced throughout the operation of the Competence Centre. On the other hand, the knowledge base aims at collecting the case studies, software documentations, books, articles, materials, etc. of Hungarian or international origin available under different free licences.
- Through its developers, the Free Software Competence Centre aims at providing solutions to bugs and functional deficiencies occurring during the free software migration projects. Moreover, it will try to enhance interoperability through different information technology developments.
In order to share professional experiences, the E-Governmental Free Software Competence Centre seeks the cooperation with other Hungarian and international free software projects. To achieve this objective, the Competence Centre participates at Hungarian and international conferences. Furthermore, the Competence Centre is going to organize two public administration free software conferences, where – besides sharing knowledge and experiences – emphasis will be laid on the popularization of free software, as well.