The Last HOPE (2008): "Policy Hacking: Taking Back Public Sector IT" (Download)
Saturday, July 19, 2008: 10:00 am (Turing): On January 1st, 2002, Arjen Kamphuis tried to access the website of the Dutch national railway (www.ns.nl) using Linux. The site refused him access, saying it was IE-only. This sparked a conversation with members of parliament about the need for open standards. Over a five year period, he progressed from talking to opposition MPs to meeting the economics minister directly and was able to significantly influence national policy despite total lack of funding or any specific mandate. As a result, the Dutch public sector will move to standardize on Open Documents Format and use open source where comparable functionality is available in all new procurements as of 2008. Use of ODF as a public sector document standard will be mandatory in 2009. This talk will tell the tale of why this was accomplished, how it was done, and how others can do it too in other countries around the world. You'll learn how to get access to the powers-that-be, how to get non-technical people interested in the subject, and how to align your policy proposals with existing policies. While some of the political reasons for wanting open standards and open source in government IT will be touched upon, the focus of the talk will be mainly on how to get results.