Project Details

Title: Open Source software usage by European Public Administrations
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: the Information Society

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2012
Website: http://www.osepa.eu


Total budget: €1,791,306.43
ERDF contribution: €1,425,676.23

Lead partner

Central Union of Municipalities of Greece
10678, ATHENS

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    • Contact Person: KOUGIANOS GAVRILIS
      Phone: 302132147509
      Fax: 302103899651

Project summary

FOSS represents a potential of significant competitiveness gains of its adopters, both for public administrations as well as citizens and companies. As a result, it is of vital importance to examine how and whether appropriate public policies can alleviate barriers and inhibitors rendering the potential benefits of FOSS actual ones and enhancing the competitiveness of European economies.


Public administrations can play a unique role as a catalyst force in demonstrating the value of FOSS and in removing legal and organisational obstacles and inhibitors by acting as early adopters. OSEPA aims to explore this potential through interregional cooperation and to cultivate a debate among public administrations in this direction with a view to:

• Analyse, promote knowledge and foster awareness on the main benefits and disadvantages, cost evidence and effectiveness resulting from FOSS adoption and use.

• Explore, identify, build consensus on the framework conditions enabling FOSS

to become a technically, financially, legally viable alternative offering of IT solutions.

• Explore, identify, build consensus on and promote European, national and regional policies and approaches that may facilitate the emergence of FOSS as a mature and viable business model.

• Promote awareness, exchange and disseminate knowledge, good practice and case studies regarding technical, financial and legal aspects of FOSS adoption by European public administrations in order to reduce uncertainty, inertia and resistance-to-change that limit experimentation and adoption of FOSS software.

• Discuss and promote the adoption of internal policies, mission statements, methodologies and action plans facilitating European public administrations to experiment, exploit and benefit from FOSS solutions.


OSEPA's main results are:

A) Survey of current FOSS usage in at least 20 EU countries.

B) A requirements analysis and guidelines on software procurement policies of European Public Administrations.

C) Two European conferences will take place. The primary objective is to explore the strategic impact of FOSS adoption and relate it to the existing European Public Administrations’ technology and service environments.

D) Interregional events (9 Workshops, 6 Study Visits & 5 Site Visits) aiming to facilitate exchange of experiences.

E) Good Practice Guide on FOSS use among European Public Administrations.

F) Analysis and recommendations on European and National Policies and practices on FOSS.


The project dissemination activities will promote awareness on FOSS and on OSEPA activities targeting a) relevant segments of the public opinion and b) Officers and elected representatives of local regional and national administrations.


The consortium includes four national associations of municipalities and communities, regions, municipalities and knowledge organisations reaching within the consortium 1302 European local and regional Public Administrations.

Project achievements

The objective of the OSEPA project (Open Source software usage by European Public Administrations) was to conduct a systematic debate among European public administrations (EPA’s) to improve the knowledge and competencies of local and regional Public Administrations in free and/or open source software (FOSS) solutions through the effective collection, analysis, exchange and transfer of good practices. This was accomplished through 1) the conduction of various studies and guidelines to support EPA’s in choosing the most effective FOSS migration strategy within their provinces 2) the widespread exchange of experience that generated new knowledge on FOSS, facilitated and encouraged transfer of practices between partners and other local and regional governments and improved strategies on FOSS adoption. Main OSEPA results achieved: •27 staff members with increased capacity resulting from the exchange of experience •7 good practices successfully transferred •2 regional/local policies and

instruments improved in the field tackled by the project. Main OSEPA studies and guidelines include: •FOSS European and National Policies and practices: Analysis and Recommendations •Technical efficiency guidelines for selecting between and among FOSS and proprietary SW solutions •Report on the economic foundation of open source software •Guide on free and open source software procurement for European Public Administrations •Policy Recommendation Paper •Quantitative Analysis of Survey Results on FOSS Usage •Analysis of Survey Results on the Needs & Requirements of EPA’s •Qualitative Analysis of Survey Results on FOSS Usage •Synthesis Assessment Report of the Site Visits •Synthesized Assessment Report of the OSEPA Study Visits •Report on license issues, Liability and SW Procurement Policies in Relationship with FOSS •OSEPA Open Source policy statement •Good Practice Guide covering various aspects of FOSS usage by EPA’s (34 Good Practices identified) •Policy Recommendation Paper on

technical standards on FOSS usage •Interim synthesis assessment report of the OSEPA Workshops •FOSS Critical Success Factors •Potential FOSS Benchmarks •Survey on Open-source Cloud Computing Solutions. •Checklists and easy-to-use tools for the adoption and the practical use of good practices on FOSS usage by EPA's. The exchange of knowledge and experience was also realized through the organization of numerous interregional events: •9 Workshops were organized to review FOSS good practices and strategic aspects for the successful implementation of FOSS •6 Study Visits were organized to offer the OSEPA members the opportunity to access the know-how already adopted by FOSS more experienced partners •5 Site Visits were organized to promote bilateral assessment of policies and to feed a comparative analysis of existing practice •7 Dissemination events were organized to explore the strategic impact of FOSS adoption and relate it to the existing EPAs' technology and service environments.

Emphasis was placed on the current state of the art regarding FOSS adoption among EPAs and on the potential of FOSS uptake by EPAs (presenting results, guidelines, policy recommendations, etc.). For project outputs see also www.osepa.eu/pdeliverables. The immediate project result was spread within the members of the consortium and their regional local authority network contacts. The OSEPA message rapidly reached a wider range of audience (EPA’s, FOSS developers, FOSS communities, FOSS-related projects, national and European associations of municipalities and regions, EU allies and policy makers) through the communication and dissemination efforts of partners. In particular through the: •Project web portal •e-newsletters •Brochures •Press Releases •FOSS Articles •Dissemination of studies and guidelines to numerous identified target groups.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, ATHENS GREECE Attiki 302132147509
Vysočina Region, Jihlava CZECH REPUBLIC Jihovychod +420 777 160 058
Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology in Extremadura, Badajoz SPAIN Extremadura 34924014600
MFG Baden-Württemberg mbH – Public Innovation Agency for ICT and Media, Stuttgart GERMANY Stuttgart 4971190715300
Swedish Association of Municipalities for Joint Development of eServices, Sandviken SWEDEN Norra Mellansverige 4626248252
Emilia-Romagna Region, Bologna ITALY Emilia-Romagna 390515275003
City of Schoten, Schoten BELGIUM Prov. Antwerpen 3236800937
Romanian Towns Association, Bucharest ROMANIA Bucuresti - Ilfov 40213117197
The University of Sheffield, Sheffield UNITED KINGDOM South Yorkshire 441142221434
Computer Technology Institute & Press «Diophantus» (CTI), Patras GREECE Dytiki Ellada 302610960430
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