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The autonomous region of Galicia will invest €915 000 to promote the use of free and open source software to enterprises, public administrations and public organisations, as it was announced in mid-May 2012 by the regional government. The Galicia region will also launch a feasibility study on the use of free office tools for its entire staff.
Galicia is a member of Cenatic, Spain’s national resource centre on open source and open standards. Cenatic signed in May 2012 a cooperation agreement with Agasol, an association of the region's free and open source IT service providers.
At a press conference, Mar Pereira, director of Amtega, Galicia's Agency for Technological Modernisation, explained that the regional government in 2010 was among the first ones to design an overall free software strategy. A year later , it began providing computer trainings, focussing on open source and started Abalar, a free software project for schools. This free software helps schools combine Drupal, a content management system, Modular Object Oriented Developmental Learning Environment (Moodle), an eLearning system and Coppermine Photo Gallery, a web application for displaying images and videos.
By using free software for these initiatives, the regional government has saved €2.5 million in 2010 and in 2011. According to Pereira, the use of free and open source software by the region's public administrations has increased from 46 % in 2009 to 94 % now.
Pereira announced a feasibility study on moving all public employees in Galicia to free office software. She said in this regard: "This study is a required step in the development of a migration plan. It is also in line with plans Galicia announced earlier this year to install free office tools on all new computers."
The government of Galicia became one of the board members of Cenatic in 2011. The aim is to make it easier to share and re-use strategies with other regional administrations. Pereira said that being a member of Cenatic will help share and re-use software applications made specifically for public authorities. The region will launch this year a policy, requiring public administrations to first consider the use of such tools, before procuring proprietary alternatives.
Earlier this month, the Spanish region of Aragon announced its plans to boost the growth of the region's open source IT in companies.