[ubuntu-florida] Fwd: Responding to your message to Rep. Putnam

Christopher Rohde christopher.rohde at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 01:55:12 BST 2007

As requested by elementC, here's the response I got from Rep. Putnam when I
asked him why the US spends so much on software (there are craptons of
government comps out there) and not OSS (in general).

Didn't really expect anything, but this was a decent email I think.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cong. Adam Putnam <imafl12 at mail.house.gov>
Date: Jun 1, 2007 3:36 PM
Subject: Responding to your message to Rep. Putnam
To: christopher.rohde at gmail.com

Dear Mr. Rohde:

Thank you for your recent email to my office concerning open source
software, and of course for your service to our nation as a Marine.  I
believe strongly that every Marine is a leader and so of course it was no
surprise that you wrote on the future of technology applications as it
relates to all Americans.

First and foremost, I believe that open source software is becoming a more
important tool in the marketplace for individuals at home as well as
businesses and the government.  You will be glad to know that the Department
of Defense and many federal agencies have recognized the benefit of open
source software and utilize it in many ways.

The official U.S. federal government policy regarding the use of open source
software by government agencies are described in a July 2004 Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum on software acquisition, M-04-16
Memoranda for Senior Procurement Executives, Chief Information Officers,
Software Acquisition.  The memorandum states that the policies guiding
government information technology investment decisions are "technology and
vendor neutral" and that agencies' technology choices "must be consistent
with the agency's enterprise architecture and the Federal Enterprise
Architecture." Agencies are also instructed to take into account a number of
other merit-based factors, including information security, licensing
requirements, and total cost of ownership. Implicit in these requirements is
an expectation that agencies will also make choices based on the quality of
the product.

The growing emphasis on improved information security and critical
infrastructure protection overall, will likely be an influential factor in
future decisions to implement open source solutions. The rapidly changing
computer environment may also foster the use of a combination of open source
and closed source applications, rather than creating a need to choose one
option at the exclusion of another.

The use of open source software by the federal government has been gaining
attention as organizations continue to search for opportunities to enhance
their information technology (IT) operations while containing costs.  A
growing number of state and local governments have also been exploring the
official adoption of open source software.  For the federal government and
Congress, the debate over the use of open source software intersects several
issues, including, but not limited to, the development of homeland security
and e-government initiatives, improving government information technology
management practices, strengthening computer security, and protecting
intellectual property rights.  In the 110th Congress, I expect the debate
over open source software to revolve primarily around information security
and intellectual property rights, including the possible development of a
legal definition of open source software.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  I hope you will always
contact me with your thoughts and concerns on this issue or any other.

Semper fi,


Adam Putnam
Member of Congress

Christopher Rohde
     w:   863-644-1999
     c:   863-885-1229
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