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NL: Administrative Court publishes automatic document conversion tool

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| The Dutch Council of State is willing to open source its application that can
| centrally convert documents between open formats and proprietary formats,
| said Marcel Pennock, the tool's developer, Wednesday at a conference on Open
| Document Format (ODF) in Utrecht.
| [...]
| The tools converts Microsoft documents to Open Document Format and the other
| way around. Documents can also be saved as Portable Document Format (pdf).
| The council's IT department is also considering a document management system
| that will be using the conversion tool. "We have not decided if that document
| system will be built as Open Source or not. For the past fifteen years we
| have been working with proprietary documents. Changing that is not done
| instantly."



NL: Use of Open Source software requires no European IT tenders

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| European public administrations that want to use software that is offered for
| free, such as Open Source software, do not need to organise a call for
| tender. *
| [...]
| According to Wijnen-Meijer the translation is well-received. "At a recent
| Open Source conference in the US, copies were picked up quickly by companies.
| We also have had requests from cities and ministries in Germany and Greece." *


Interview with NOiV's Maarten Wijnen-Meijer on Study on Gov't Acquisition of OS
Software - Pick Your Brains

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| A Dutch study has recently been translated and published in English, "The
| acquisition of (open-source) software", by Nederland Open in Verbinding
| (NOiV), which finds that in Europe, gratis software does not require
| tendering and so gratis Open Source software can be freely downloaded without
| having to go through the usual purchase process. If service is required, that
| service would, however, require going through the normal purchasing process,
| but as a separate matter.



Dutch "government ISV" adds ODF support

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| Apparently the adoption of ODF by the City of Heerenveen and the City of
| Groningen had some impact on the decision. *


FOSS in Dutch government

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| There will be an office where people can complain if they cannot communicate
| with the government using open standards. So non-compliance of government
| agencies will be measured. *


Dutch government threatens to sideline Microsoft

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| Proposed legislation that would mandate the use of the Open Document Format
| (ODF) across the entire Dutch government has infuriated Microsoft.
| [...]
| Microsoft Netherlands has engaged in fierce lobbying in an attempt to derail
| the plan. The company argues that the current definition is too narrow,
| specifically by mandating ODF rather than open standards in general *


Netherlands Picks ODF

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| Frank Heemskerk, Minister of Economic Affairs, announced today that ODF will
| be the standard for reading, publishing and the exchange of information for
| all governmental organisations. The deadline is January 2009. *

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