Gov’t Looks to Reduce Software Licensing Cost


A number of Government ministries and agencies will participate in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Pilot Project, slated to get underway in July.

This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate on May 28, in the House of Representatives.

The six-month project, slated to end in December, is aimed at providing the Government with a viable and sustainable alternative to proprietary software products, thereby reducing costin the procurement and management of software licences.

“Every time in every Government department, if you have a desktop computer that, for instance, has Microsoft on it or any other software, the Government has to pay a licensing fee…it costs the Government significant sums to pay these fees,” Mr. Robinson said.

He informed that the project is expected to: produce an inception report outlining the allocation of resources and the plan for knowledge transfer to the Government; conduct a critical review of the previous FOSS pilot undertaken by the Government as part of the Inter-American Development Bank/Information and Communications Technology (IDB/ICT) Project and produce a report on the same; and develop a FOSS migration strategy and corresponding guidelines.

He noted that under the project, three pilots, one in each of the selected ministries, departments, and agencies, will be implemented to validate and adapt the FOSS migration methodology.

Mr. Robinson informed that the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) will act as the interface between the Government and the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) in Havana, Cuba to facilitate the development of the project.

Contact: Chris Patterson

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