The acquisition of (open-source) software

Update April 22 2008: On April 18 a NOiV-presentation was given on this topic at the Open Expert Group of IDABC. It summarizes the main findings of the study.

On March 21 2008 programme office NOiV has released the English version of the publication called The acquisition of (open-source) software. This publication details the ways in which governments can acquire software and the role open-source software and open standards can play in that process. This publication promotes a clear and sensible choice of governments with regard to the openness of their software.

The two main conclusions of this publication are:

  1. Gratis software does not require tendering. The same is true for gratis open source software. This conclusions means that there are to main ways of software acquisition: tendering on one hand and downloading on the other.
  2. Software acquisition has to be focuses on the fulfilment of requirements. Openness however can be a requirement as well. For instance, some software applications might require the source code to be available.

This guide was originally created by the OSOSS programme office. Since January 2008 OSOSS has been succeeded by the programme office Netherlands in Open Connection (NOiV). NOiV facilitates the execution of the action plan Netherlands in Open Connection and is responsible for the translation of this manual into English. Some small corrections were made.

A paper version of this guide can be ordered by governments (limited supply) by sending an email to The guide is also available digitally (cover: PDF, text: PDF, ODF) under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Comments and suggestions are very welcome and can be send to