[d@DCC] ATIP for Government commissioned software
russell at flora.ca
Thu Apr 15 11:48:24 EDT 2004
On 12 Apr 2004, Derek Wueppelmann wrote:
> Has there been any word on the software AI request? I'm really
> interested in what happens with that.
At the Open Source weekend we thought of a way to "double our fun".
Rather than having a self-employed private citizen like myself request
software, we decided that having an educational institution make the
request would add to it. We met a grad student who's professor was
interested in such things.
Background for others
At the 2002 Open Source Solutions Showcase that we consider to be the
birth-event of GOSLING <http://www.goslingcommunity.org/#events> where was
discussion about how to open source government produced software. We
thought of a perfect test case:
Termium (Now at: http://www.termium.com/ )
Under the hood of the web version is some PERL scripts and a database.
While the database is proprietary, the PERL scripts and the data in the
database was created and/or commissioned by the Government of Canada.
Alain Clavet, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the Commissioner of
Official Languages, was the author of French on the Internet: Key to the
Canadian Identity and the Knowledge Economy. March 2002. He also
recommended making Termium free-of-charge.
We also had Jay Lawrence, author of Termium Plus (and active PERL
mongerer and participant in Ottawa Open Source events), at that conference
to discuss the Termium technology.
Quick google search finds this interesting summary:
What we are trying to do
We want to set precedent that software created by the Government of
Canada, even if the work is outsourced to a consultant, is available to
Canadians under Access to Information requests. If this is already true,
and that $5 will get you the source code, then this would encourage the
government to actively Open Source their projects. This way they get the
benefit of "resource multiplication" and other such things, rather than
the embarrassment of having people just pay $5 and have a third party
release the information.
Access to Information is handled per-department, so you need to know
where the information is in order to request it:
BTW: while we have someone doing the AtoI request for this specific piece
of software, there is nothing stopping anyone else reading this note from
finding out about other Government authored software and doing AtoI
requests for them. Do the research, do the paperwork, pay your $5, and
wait to see what type of interesting response you will get.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
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