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Re: [ossig] Call for M'sian govt to rethink open source policy

On Monday 03 October 2005 19:36, BIGrat wrote:
> > Pikom Chairman Lee Boon Kok agrees. "When it comes to procurement,
> > consider all options in open source and proprietary software, all else
> > being equal," he said. More importantly, these ICT products should
> > conform to open standards to ensure interoperability between systems in
> > various agencies and departments, Lee added.
> just a short question; how open would you consider m$'s standards?

Never mind the MS standards. Mr. Lee had inadvertently, I think, stated the 
Malaysian public sector OSS policy, minus the choose OSS "all else being 

> "A procurement policy by the government should be based on merit,
> > transparency with clear evaluation criteria, fit for purpose, value for
> > money and interoperability," he said.
> IIANM the procurement policy AFAIK "all other things being equal chose
> OSS."....

Absolutely. That's the most salient point in the whole thing.

I was not in the country when this little storm in a teacup happened over 
at /. and just took a look at it over the weekend. The Malaysian story was 
overshadowed by Massachusetts', as it should on /.

Here's my little thought on the whole thing. Pikom, MS, CompTIA, ISC, BSA, 
ISAC-M and AMCHAM have a bit of a problem when it comes to protesting the 
govt's OSS procurement policy. This is because it was worded carefully enough 
to emphasise the fact that if there is a clear winner in the choice between 
OSS and proprietary, then the winner should be chosen. In the event of a 
deadlock, then AND ONLY THEN will OSS be chosen.

The angle that is taken by these guys is that, by showing a "preference" for 
OSS in the policy (if only to break a deadlock), the govt is biased and would 
go for the OSS software, given a choice. Any choice. In other words, they're 
painting a doomsday scenario for proprietary software, where companies which 
have an OSS offering would have an advantage in government tenders.

Now, all this protesting on their part can be almost construed as a tacit 
admission on their part that maybe, just maybe, their software can sometimes 
be worse that OSS. As they often can be.

They protest too much.


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