Idea #15961: (Try to) partner with the Dutch government

Maybe you’ve already heard about the Dutch plans to make open standards almost mandatory for the (semi-)governmental organizations.
Although the regulation was already effective as from the first of April 2008, recently there have been some developments. Now the plans have been approved by the European Commission. Furthermore, the use of open standards is now even closer to mandatory; if a (semi-)governmental organization wants to use a closed standard now, they have to have a very good justification. Also see the Dutch announcement at the website of the Department of Economic Affairs: Instructies rond gebruik open standaarden.

The government also created a website called Forum Standaardisatie, where information is published that could help the differentment parts of the government to choose the right standard. You can find the English version at, but keep in mind that most of the data is in Dutch.

Why did I create an idea at Brainstorm for this? When the costs of a tender of a (semi-)governmental organization in the EU exceeds a certain border, the organization HAS to allow all companies in the EU to fulfil the order. The tender is published with the European tender system at and all companies in Europe can send their offer.

Now a large part of the Dutch government probably is going to switch to open standards, there will probably a lot of tenders about switching. If Canonical would try to participate here, Ubuntu could be the OS running parts of our government! Compability shouldn’t be a problem since open standards are required. If Microsoft won’t support them properly, I have no doubt that Neelie Kroes would do something to that…

However, Ubuntu should also get some more fame in the Netherlands so the people in charge of picking the candidate for the tender know what they can choose. Here lies a task for Ubuntu NL. I think it would be a good idea to watch the media carefully and try to fix mistakes in case they make mistakes and notice them when there is a major Ubuntu event, like a new release or maybe even the UDS.

I hope this suggestion would at least be considered since it could be the change for Linux to get a lot of new users. Another plus would be that being used by a government increased the will to support you.

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