South Tyrol government to standardise on LibreOffice
The government of the Italian province of South Tyrol has announced at a press conference and in an accompanying press release that it will be moving to the open source office suite LibreOffice for all office productivity and administration. The release states that free software has been in use in public administration for nearly 20 years but has had only a niche role; but now, 7,000 PCs in the administration will migrate over the next three years from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice. Many more thousands will follow in the health service. At the end of the three-year period, ODF will be the default document exchange format.
A report on the EC's open source portal, Joinup, states that the decision to move to LibreOffice was taken by a roundtable representing the province's IT experts, municipalities, health care and others. The reason given for the switch is to avoid "vendor lock-in, increase flexibility, save costs and support the region's small and medium sized ICT service providers."
At the press conference, Roberto Bizzo, Minister for Innovation and Information Technology, stressed that the changover to free and open source software would require both strong commitment from politicians and from management in the respective administrative organisations. He added that the benefits went beyond simply lowering costs but also will allow greater flexibility in a rapidly changing IT environment.