Congratulations to New Hampshire, whose newly passed HB418 now requires the consideration of open source software, and promotes open data standards.
This bill requires state agencies to consider open source software when acquiring software and promotes the use of open data formats by state agencies. This bill also directs the commissioner of information technology to develop a statewide information policy based on principles of open government data.
I. The general court finds that:
(a) The cost of obtaining software for the state’s computer systems has become a significant expense to the state;
(b) The personnel costs of maintaining the software on the state’s computers has also become a significant expense to the state;
(c) It is necessary for the functioning of the state that computer data owned by the state be permanently available to the state throughout its useful life;
(d) To guarantee the succession and permanence of public data, it is necessary that the state’s accessibility to that data be independent of the goodwill of the state’s computer system suppliers and the conditions imposed by these suppliers;
(e) It is in the public interest to ensure interoperability of computer systems through the use of software and products that promote open, platform-neutral standards;
(f) It is also in the public interest that the state be free, to the greatest extent possible, of conditions imposed by parties outside the state’s control on how, and for how long, the state may use the software it has acquired; and
(g) It is not in the public interest and it is a violation of the fundamental right to privacy for the state to use software that, in addition to its stated function, also transmits data to, or allows control and modification of its systems by, parties outside of the state’s control.
[Update: David Wheeler has some color commentary which is definitely worth reading.