DK: Need for multiple document formats leads Ministry of Transport to open source
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A legal requirement to support multiple document formats, including the open document format, is the main reason for which the Staff at Denmark's Ministry of Transport intends to move, in the near future, to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office tools.
3 - Description:
Public administrations on Denmark are required to be able to accept both the Open Document Format (ODF) and a private IT vendor's alternative OOXML. "I don't know how other public administrations in Denmark handle this requirement, but for our department it is the reason to switch to LibreOffice." says the responsible executive secretary of the Department in question Thomas Ginnerup-Nielsen.
Tthe Ministry employs 145 civil servants, and has recently replaced a proprietary office suite by LibreOffice. The move saves the ministry DKK 150 000 (approx. €20 000) per year in costs for proprietary office licences, according to figures published by the open source IT service provider Magenta, which helped the Ministry with the migration to open source.
The Department is also using Ubuntu Linux on its thin client desktop PCs, but only in case these have no network connection. When connected to the network, the PCs run a virtualised proprietary desktop.
Staff will have little problems switching between the two different operating systems, because on both systems the office suite is LibreOffice, says Ginnerup-Nielsen. He goes on to say:
"At a time when most ministries are laying off staff in order to save money, the Ministry of Transport resolves a major part of its budget challenges by innovation of its IT", while the responsible IT company writes in a brief case study on the migration. "One aim of the move to Ubuntu and LibreOffice is to extend the lifetime of the current PCs by three years."
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