Italy implements prioritization of Free Software in public administration

On 7 August 2012, the Italian Parliament had adopted a change to the Public Procurement Code, which made it mandatory to use Free Software and to only consider proprietary software inasmuch as the lack of a free solution was proven (Article 68 CAD ­ Codice dell’Amministrazione Digitale). With this provision, the Italian Parliament wished to make the use of Free Software and open formats the rule, thus relegating proprietary software among exceptions. Evaluation was to be done in compliance with the rules and criteria established by the Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale.

The text that presented these rules and criteria was approved on the 6th of December, 2013 and it was published at the beginning of January 2014 [it] (see also the article in Joinup); it was written by a working group which included representatives of the government and of the Free Software businesses and stakeholders.

The rules in Italy are therefore now clear: the choice of Free Software becomes mandatory in public administration, and proprietary software can not be used unless the impossibility to use Free Software is proven.

April rejoices in the implementation of such a proactive and exemplary policy: Italy was cited in our argument about the legal validity of giving preference to free software [fr] as an example. April hopes that this example will be followed in Europe, and in France.