French report wants government to standardise on ODF

Open source push underway

All French government publications should be made available in OpenDocument Format (ODF), according to a report commissioned by the French prime minister.

In his report, On Equal Terms, National Assembly Deputy Bernard Carayon calls for a law making it compulsory for French government departments to use ODF when they create or distribute documents, and suggests that France ask its European partners to do likewise when exchanging documents at a European level.

Carayon’s report, submitted to Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on September 14, is not just about ODF, however.

De Villepin asks Carayon to investigate how European businesses could play a greater role in developing global industrial standards, in order to level the economic playing field and reduce Europe’s economic dependency on other regions. Carayon’s report carries no legal weight, but French policy-makers have to take account of such reports, which the prime minister can commission on a wide range of matters.

In the report, Carayon also recommends the government fund a research centre dedicated to open-source software security, and set up a system to help national and local government agencies exchange information about best practice in the use of open-source software.

He also suggests that the European Union should create an agency with the ambitious goal of ensuring its technological independence.

Separately, Carayon has also pushed for the French National Assembly to give deputies the choice of proprietary or open-source software on the workstations provided for them.

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