Open standards and free software in Belgium
This article describes in a factual way the legal proposals and the opinions of various authorities concerning the use of the open standards and the free software in Belgium, in particular in the public administrations.
It also continues questions and parliamentary discussions on these subjects.
At the national level
The policy as regards open standards is coordinated via the BELGIF (BELgian Government Interoperability Framework). This one gathers representatives of the Federal state and Areas and the Communities. This is an official and public wiki in which all the parts interested in the question of the formats used by the administration, initially federal, are invited to take an active part. Indeed, this initiative wants to be a manner of allowing the civil society, in the independent technical world, to take an active part in the reflection concerning the formats and standards, reflection which if not is often reserved for a restricted public and carefully selected.
At the federal level
The government, set up following the held elections the May 18th 2003, designates Peter Vanvelthoven as Secretary of State to the Computerization of the State. The free software and the open standards are treated in a general way in its declarations of general policy and manner more detailed in a specific note approved by the Council of Ministers of the 6/25/2004 and whose full version was published by Fedict.
Secretary of State to the Computerization of the State , Declaration of general policy, 2004.
Federal government , Press release of the Council of Ministers in connection with the BlindSurfer label for the federal Web sites (accessibility of the Web sites), 3/20/2004.
Federal government , Press release of the Council of Ministers: standards and software, 6/25/2004.
SPF Technologies Information and the Communication (Fedict) , Directives and recommendations for the use of open standards and/or specifications open in the federal administrations, 2004.
the Council of Ministers , 6/23/2006. Position on the office automation formats of documents. Belgium becomes the first country in the world to choose standard ODF (ISO/IEC 26300) (Press release). " The Council of Ministers consequently proposes to retain the ODF like standard for the exchange, on the level of the public authorities, of office automation documents like the documents text, the worksheets, the presentations, as of its final approval by ISO" (extracted press release).
parliamentary Questions :
- Question nº 3-2268 of Mrs. Hermans of February 25th, 2005 (NR.): Computerization of the SPF - Use of open standards - Planning
At the regional and Community level
Area of Brussels-Capital
At the political level, it is the minister Guy Vanhengel (VLD) who is in charge of Data processing. On the level of the administration, the data processing of the Area of Brussels is managed by the Data-processing Center of the Area Of Brussels, CIRB.
Government of Brussels , Governmental Agreement of 2004, fixing the priorities of the Government. (July 2004, pages 63 and 64, section 3 administration with the service of the Inhabitants of Brussels, paragraph a) To modernize the administration)
data-processing Center of the Area of Brussels (CIRB) , Press release: a public service under free license, 4/12/2004.
Government of Brussels , 2/24/2005, Answer of the minister Guy Vanhengel to the oral question of Madam the Deputy Julie Fiszman concerning the progress report of the migration of the Administration towards free software
Walloon Government , 2004-2009: The e-gov and administrative simplification in the governmental declaration, 2004.
The French Community
Government of the French Community Declaration of Community policy 2004 > 2009,2004.
Area and the Flemish Community
Flemish Government , Beleidsnota' S van of Vlaamse Regering 2004-2009, bestuurszaken.
Vlaamse Raad voor Wetenschapsbeleid , Open software source, advies 86, 1/22/2004.
Ministerie van of Vlaamse Gemeenschap, afdeling Beleidscoördinatie Onderwijs , Publication of the book: " Vrije software in het onderwijs" (available to format pdf).
Ministerie van of Vlaamse Gemeenschap, afdeling Beleidscoördinatie Onderwijs , Site of information devoted to the free software bound for the schools.
Texts approved and in application
Law of the 8/10/2005 instituting the system of computerization Phoenix , Belgian Monitor 9/1/2005.
"Article 30. The protocols and formats of communication and safeguard of the information system Phoenix are based exclusively on open standards. By standard, one understands a spéci ﬁ technical, sufficient cation to develop of it a complete implementation, approved by an independent organization of standardization. By open standard, one understands a standard which is free available on the Internet and without legal restriction as for its diffusion and its utilization."
to also Voir the explanatory memorandum of the article 30.
Texts in the course of discussion
At the federal level
- Room of the Representatives of Belgium , Proposal for a relative law to the use of free software in the federal administrations, Yvan MAYEUR (PS), DOC. 51 0244/001, 10/2/2003.
- Room of the Representatives of Belgium , Proposal for a relative law to the use of standards of communication open in the administration, Yvan MAYEUR (PS), Zoe GENOT (ECOLOGIST), Peter VANHOUTTE (AGALEV-ECOLO), Olivier CHASTEL (PRL FDF MCC), Henk VERLINDE (SP), DOC. 50 1022/001, 12/20/2000.
- Senate of Belgium , Proposal for a relative law to the use of free software in the federal administrations, Jean-François ISTASSE (PS), 3 - 23/1, 7/3/2003.
- Senate of Belgium , Private bill concerning the use of open standards and disponibilté of the source code of the software in the federal administrations, François ROELANTS OF the FISH POND (MR.) and Christine DEFRAIGNE (MR.), 3 - 216/1, 9/30/2003.
- Senate of Belgium , Motion for a resolution on the purchase of software by the federal administrations, Jean-Marie Dedecker, Stefaan Noreilde, n° 3-536/1,
On the level of the Areas and the Communities
- Parliament of the French Community , Proposal for an relative order to the use of free software in the administrations of the French community, Michel MOOCK (PS), Jean-François Istasse (PS), 256 (2001-2002), 3/15/2002.
- the Council of the Area of Brussels-Capital , Proposal of ordinance in relation to the use of free software in the regional administrations of Brussels-Capital, Michel MOOCK (PS), Alain BULTOT (PS), A-287/1 (2001-2002), 4/17/2002.
- Parliament of the French Community Commission , Proposal for an relative order to the use of free software in the administrations of the French Community Commission, Michel MOOCK (PS), Alain BULTOT (PS), 33 (2001-2002) n°1, 2002.
- Parliament of the French Community Commission , Proposal for an relative order to the use of free software in the administrations of the French Community Commission, SCHEPMANS (MR.), François ROELANTS OF the FISH POND (MR.), 35 (2001-2002) n°1, 2002.
- Parliament of the French Community Commission , Report/ratio on the proposals for a decree 33 and 35 (2001-2002) made in the name of waste Competence and International relation, Administration, Committee on Budgets, 12/6/2002. See possibly also the intermediate report/ratio.
- Parliament of the French Community Commission , Opinion of the section of legislation of the Council of State on the proposals for a decree 33 and 35 (2001-2002), 33 and 35 (2001-2002) n°3, 6/3/2003.
- Parliament of the French Community Commission , Supplementary report on the proposals for a decree 33 and 35 (2001-2002) made in the name of International relation, Administration, the Committee on Budgets and waste Competences, 33 and 35 (2001-2002) n°4, 11/4/2003.
multisector Federation of technological industry (AGORIA) , Free software; park at the legislative initiatives Avis of Agoria, 6/9/2004.
- Right & new technologies , the use of the free software by the public authorities, reflections on some recent proposals, David OF ROY, 11/15/2004.
- the passage to OpenOffice seen by Louvière and Fléron January 2006
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