Friday, October 13, 2006

RFP/FOSS and Red Tape

Conventional governmental purchases of software rely on the good ol' RFP scheme. Send out a tender, if you will, asking for proposals, and pick the most competitive. And that model doesn't work too well with FOSS, seeing as most FOSS is, er, free. But this article fails to join the dots and draw the obvious conclusion - that with price issues out of the way (not that they have to be, FOSS needn't be free-of-charge) RFPs can concentrate on the technical issues: who will support the source (if anyone), will enhancements be possible, who to contact for bug fixes and so on. Personally, I'm a little puzzled by the piece; it speaks of how much confusion the open source model introduces into procurement because of the fact that it displaces cost from the RFP process but what about all the other factors? Surely, those still figure in the RFP process?


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