Belgian minister: “Open source prevents monopolies, increases innovation”

“Open source prevents monopolies, helps to share knowledge and increases social innovation”, says Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgium’s minister for the Simplification of the Administration.

He expects that public administrations will increasingly turn to this type of software, in part because it helps to cut costs. With his talk, minister Van Quickenborne opened a workshop on free software for public administrations, organised by the ministry of Economics in Brussels, on Friday 12 March.

According to the minister, Belgium’s public administrations are very involved in open source. He pointed for instance to the open source software that is available for using the national electronic identity card. “The community is helping us develop these applications. All public administration should realise that sharing of knowledge is better than keeping it secret.”

“This type of software is better for public administrations. It is better to use such open and scientific methods than the tools developed by three hundred software engineers locked-up in a room.”

“It is a sector in which also Belgium can play a lead role, as shown by the content management system Drupal, original created by our own Dries Buytaert, and which is being used by the US White House.”

He called on all public administrators present at the workshop to become ambassadors for open source.

Source: “BE: Minister: “Open source prevents monopolies, increases innovation” March 17, 2010

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