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Spain – over half of central government using open source

Cenatic reports that ONFSA – the National Observatory for Open Source Software – has published its 2011 public sector open source software use survey.

According to the survey, which covered 198 central government bodies, most of Spanish central government organisations use free and/or open source software for both server and desktop systems. More specifically, 9 out of 10 organisations have open source solutions deployed on their servers, while 8 out of 10 use open source desktop programs.

68% of central government organisations acquired the open source technologies they have implemented for free, acquiring them from a software repository or forge; 33% of the organisations have issued tenders for the acquisition of commercial open source software; and 27% report having reused open source solutions from another public sector organisation.

In terms of the volume of open source software (programs, operating systems and utilities, both in production and in testing or pre-production environments) deployed on the servers in Spanish central government organisations, approximately 40% is open source software. With regard to desktop software as a whole, open code solutions represent around 15%.

In spite of this widespread usage, the shortage of personnel who are experts in open source solutions and the associated need for training is considered to be the main barrier to the adoption of open source software in the public sector.

However, for us the most striking finding of the survey is that 46% have been actively involved in developing their own open source solutions.

And this makes us wonder, how many UK public sector bodies are actively assisting open source projects or even – like their Spanish counterparts – developing their own applications. Please use the comments below to let us know if your public sector body is emulating its Spanish equivalent.