August 3rd, 2006
The councillor for Infrastructure and Technological Development, Luis MillÃ¡n VÃ¡zquez de Miguel, announced that within one year all the computers of the Junta of Extremadura (government of the autonomous region of Extremadura, Spain) will run Free Software office tools and gnuLinEx, the local flavour of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1, as mandatory operating system. It will be gradually introduced to all administrative organisations of the Junta of Extremadura.
From now on, all workers of the public administration will also use Open Document Formats (ISO/IEC DIS 26300) for their office applications as well as PDF/A (Portable Document Format, ISO 19005-1:2005) for document exchange, when guaranteed unalterable visualisation is required.
VÃ¡zquez de Miguel explained that at the end of the period all additional software must be distributed under a free license. "This is an important initiative that the Junta of Extremadura has been working on for a long time, accumulating experience and analysing the impact on our organisation so as to guarantee its success", the councillor declared. According to VÃ¡zquez de Miguel, Free Software also improves security, autonomy and rationalises public spending.
Using Open Document Formats will guarantee the conservation of all the administrative documents for longer periods of time. It will also improve the relationship with the general public since it's not obliged to acquire proprietary software to access official documents.