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Evaluating Free Software for procurement

Karsten on Free Software - When you’re a public body, how do you evaluate Free Software solutions, and how do you procure them? Recently I’ve been getting this question fairly regularly. Here are the main resources I point people to.

First stop: A guideline from the European Commission on “public procurement of open source software“. This answers most of the fundamental questions, such as “is it ok for us to just download a program?” (yes), or “How can we specify that we really want Free Software and Open Standards?”. When it comes to evaluating potential solutions, the EC guideline is pretty curt.