Politico Council, administration discuss open source software potential by Miranda Neubauer

Council, administration discuss open source software potential
Miranda Neubauer

Council, administration disscus open source software potential  

Council members, administration officials and advocates on Tuesday discussed the potential and challenges the city faces in stepping up its embrace of open-source, non-proprietary software, bringing to the forefront the hurdle of getting a broad overview of what kind of software is in use across city agencies.

The Committee on Contracts was discussing two pieces of legislation introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos. One would require city officials to develop a plan to minimize the amount of proprietary software the city purchases in favor of free and open-source software. The other would require the mayor to designate an agency to develop a plan to coordinate the purchase of software with other jurisdictions and require the designated agency to create a website with information about the software.

Kallos said the use of open source software makes it possible for the city to more easily modify software code for its own purposes. He cited a repeated Independent Budget Office analysis in the past few years that said the use of open-source software could eventually save the city $25 million by no longer having to repeatedly renew software licenses that contribute to the city's $80 million overall expenditure on software.

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