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Netherlands – moving to open source would save public sector up to €4 bn.

Osor reports that the Dutch could save €1-4 bn. per year, if the public sector moved to open source software, according to calculations done by the Ministry of the Interior. The ministry deemed the report ‘unsound’ and wanted to keep it under wraps, but Dutch Members of Parliament demanded access to the report.

The report titled ‘Sorry, we’re open’, was made available to the Parliament after pressure from Socialist Party MP Rik Janssen, which heard that the report had been submitted to the Court of Audit, which is working on a separate study on the potential savings possible with open source software. This study was expected to be made public on Tuesday 15th March.

The Ministry of the Interior’s calculations were done by one of the civil administrators involved in the project to renew 11,000 desktops in most of the Dutch ministries. This new desktop is based on proprietary software for the operating system, for office applications, email and groupware

According to the report, these are the areas where vendor lock-in and the use of proprietary standards are most disruptive. Other locked-in IT areas are database applications and desktop operating systems. The report says that IT vendors exploit the lock-in created by proprietary standards, keeping their prices at a level where exit costs are excessive.

The report calculates that moving to open source would make cost savings possible in several areas, including proprietary licences, procurement costs, licence management and IT maintenance.

Read the original Osor report.