Why the use of Free Software by public authorities is a moral obligation

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From Open E-Gov:

"The argument for use of free software by the state is not about cost; it is not even about stability and freedom from viruses; it is an argument of principle.

These principles include:

  • The right of the citizen to free access to public information
  • The duty of the state to ensure permanence of public data
  • The need for security of the state and its citizens
  • The duty of the state to keep software developed with public money available to the public"


"These are issues which should drive the adoption of free software from the citizens' point of view. From the point of view of those inside government, the immediate driving factors may be different but overlapping; they are inevitably more focussed on cost.

Typically quoted reasons are:

  • The need to avoid supplier lock-in
  • The ability to control long-term costs
  • The need for interoperability
  • Security and privacy
  • Stimulation of local industry
  • Reusability "


More Information

  1. Open Letter to Microsoft. By Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nunez.
  2. the Cuzco Declaration]