Catalyst echoes French Government call for more open source in government

The French government minister for Public Transformation and Civil Service, Amélie de Montchalin, has recently urged government agencies to adopt more open source software.

Montchalin, speaking at the first edition of the “Open Source Experience”, which took place from 9-10 November in Paris, noted how critical open source was to digital democracies. She said a “culture of transparency” is necessary for “democratic trust”. It is also a matter of digital sovereignty.

“This is a timely reminder for the New Zealand government that its own adoption of open source is lagging behind many of the advanced digital nations”, Catalyst Managing Director Don Christie said.

New Zealand is a signatory to the D7 Charter that commits us to the adoption of open standards and open source, yet neither term was mentioned in the Digital Strategy for Aotearoa that was recently out for consultation.

Catalyst’s submission on the draft strategy, available on the Catalyst website, argues for a greater focus on openeness, and on sovereignty.

“Sovereignty ensures New Zealanders retain control of their data—and destinies—in a world mediated by technology, and increasingly controlled by software.

“It also recognises and protects digital information or knowledge that is about Māori people, language, culture, resources or environments.

“And it enshrines the right to digital privacy and provides protections for it,” Don Christie said.

These are all key outcomes that the New Zealand government should be pursuing on behalf of all Kiwis.

Catalyst urges the government to ensure that the final Digital Strategy for Aotearoa includes a strong focus on open source, open standards, and digital sovereignty, and in doing so builds a platform for a digital government that is open, transparent, and serves New Zealand interests.