The Bloco de Esquerda today announced a set of alternative measures to the State Budget presented by the Government for 2011 that, according to Francisco Louçã, will allow savings of 8 billion euros.
The party integrates into the measures it proposes to include in the Budget two proposals that it has already delivered to the Assembly of the Republic and which are awaiting scheduling since July: the adoption of free software in the Public Administration and the obligation to use open standards in all State services, «in internal systems and digital relationship with citizens «.
As explained to TeK Pedro Filipe Soares, deputy blocker and one of the authors of the proposal, both measures would allow «an important financial fit», would reduce the State’s dependence on foreign companies, taking into account that much of the proprietary software used today is supplied by foreign companies and, consequently, could boost the Portuguese software market.
The Bloc’s calculations regarding software spending point to a value of 150 million euros, as the annual amount spent by the State on software licenses. The party believes that in a cruising year of the implementation of free software in the Public Administration, savings could approach that value.
In the proposal submitted to the Assembly of the Republic in July, the Left Block argues that free software is always the first option to be considered in State purchases in this area. Whenever this is not the preferred option, it must be justified, although the proposal admits that the free software option may not be viable to meet all the needs of the Public Administration.
It is also argued in the Left Block proposal that the use of free software can have a positive impact on the costs associated with the IT park and give the Portuguese State greater autonomy.
Cristina A. Ferreira