EOLE 2020 Webinar #3 : Open source governance within public administrations

This third webinar, which focuses on “Open source governance within public administrations”, has been facilitated by Marco Ciurcina and was divided into the four following parts :

  • 1. Free open source participatory democracy for cities and organizations – Arnau Monterde (00:01:35)
  • 2. Open source governance within public administrations: Drive the change towards sharing – Laura Garbati (00:29:46)
  • 3. Status of Open Source Software Policies in Europe – Vivien Devenyi and Clare O’Donohoe (00:51:57)
  • 4. Question time

1. Free open source participatory democracy for cities and organizations – Arnau Monterde

Arnau Monterde (AMO) is the first speakers of this session. He is one of the co-founders of the Decidim project and he is the Director of Democratic Innovation at the Barcelona City Council. He has also promoted the Ateneu of Democratic Innovation in Barcelona, a Laboratory for research and action on democracy and technology. He studies emerging forms of political participation and democracy in the network society and holds a PhD in Information and Knowledge Society from the Open University of Catalunya. In this presentation, he will share with us a general approach of Decidim in order to understand what it is, how it works and how they are building this digital infrastructure for democracy for the public and communities while using all the principles of free software.

The context

First, the context is key to understanding the reason why the Decidim project was initiated. We are living through an accelerated process of digitalization of our society. In our perspective it is so important to understand that any relation with technology is related to politics. All the new technological developments have political and social consequences. Now we are living in a period of very advanced technological development with big data and artificial intelligence and a lot of high speed communications through networks… We have to understand that we are the basis of the model in which we are building this technology. This evolution of the social and political with technology has been also accelerated with the situation we are living (COVID), where we have increased our digital practices. This webinar is an example, but also our work and social relations show how we have increased these digital practices in our everyday life.

At the same time, there is this current political climate, this feeling that we can improve democracy. Of course we can vote (every four or five years, depending on the country) but there is this general feeling that in the context of the 21st century, democracy can be improved. This improvement has to be related to technology, we cannot imagine the democratic innovation of the future without understanding that.

Obviously, when we talk about technologies, we have to understand the philosophy and principles of free software. All of them are built on the idea we imagine a democratic process to build technology in the 21st century would look like. But we also have to understand the possibilities and propositions from the public and see how we can contribute to the empowerment of citizens.

We have been working a lot on citizen engagement and participation but also on how we can improve this idea of implicating citizens in the everyday government life. This idea of participation is the Latin notion “pars-capere”, which means taking part in the sovereignty that belongs to us as citizens. Citizens have a responsibility to be part of the decisions that impact their everyday life. Here, is where we locate the Decidim project, which is that what happens when those two notions collide. On one side, there is representative democracy, where we vote for elected politicians, through representative spaces. And on the other side, we have citizen self-organization, through demonstrations, protests, what happens in the middle of the two models? What kind of infrastructures can we build to improve our democracies in the 21st century? This is where Decidim plays an important role.

What is Decidim?

Decidim is a digital platform, to organize and promote any kind of democratic process. It’s a platform that works as a complex place to integrate mechanisms and processes of participation, to collect ideas, create proposals, integrate possible examples of drafts of legislation, promote citizen initiatives and petitions, etc. It’s a set of different mechanisms to be involved in different aspects of an institution, city or organization. Decidim is a free and open source project, anyone can see, modify and contribute to the code. It’s a democratic software project, which means that we built a community and used different democratic decision-making options in the process. Decidim is not just a project led by the city of Barcelona, it is a project designed by a community that is contributing, debating, improving the project every day. Today more than 200 democratic institutions around the world are using Decidim, with hundreds of thousands of participants.

To sum up: in the end, the platform wants to structure any kind of democratic process that any kind of organization might need. It also wants to do it in an open and accessible way, tries to integrate different ways to participate and preserving the digital rights as a principle, preserving the privacy and security of the platform, minimizing the personal data that the platform collects. Just to give an example on how Decidim works: on the main instance, today we have more than 44000 active users. There are a lot of different participatory processes, we have more than 3000 digital or physical meetings and the platform allows us to see how many people participate.

In order to illustrate how it works, I will present a small initiative as an example. 4 years ago we created a process where citizens could create proposals for the strategic plan for the city for the 4 years to come. A citizen called Thomas decided to create the proposal on the platform which was to create “green rooftops”. This proposal was created on the platform and discussed during different meetings and was debated in the different meeting on the platform. In the end, the proposal was accepted and included. The project was monitored during the past 4 years, and was executed at 100%. The city council decided to promote a specific policy to create this kind of rooftop in the city, today have more than 10 examples of this proposal being implemented on the rooftops of the city.

In Barcelona, we have had some participatory process to have participatory budgeting. In order to achieve this we have different processes that allow us to have physical meetings in the city which people can follow and register to, through the platform, in order to participate to the meetings. We also have participatory councils which are permanent spaces for the meetings as a digital place of reference to discuss this council’s specific topic. Today there are 72 neighborhoods and each has its own digital council and the activity can be monitored. People can also ask council members different questions related to different subjects.

Main principles of Decidim

In terms of governance, a the beginning of the project we created a social contract (our constitution) and we defined some principles that governed the development of the platform. The people who are using the platform have to take the contract into account if they want to use the platform.

It is based on these principles:

  • Be open to collaboration ;
  • Be transparent, traceable, and have integrity (not manipulating information or the system of voting etc.) ;
  • Provide democratic quality guarantees, provide training and support to people who cannot participate through the digital platform ;
  • Respect privacy and security.

How does it work?

It works through an online and offline integration of proposals, debates and meetings. Decidim seeks to amplify participation altogether by trying to solve the digital divide.

The features:

  • Participatory budgeting: there is a basket with the amount of money available and people can choose which project they want to put in that basket ;
  • Participatory spaces ;
  • Participatory process ;
  • Participatory councils ;
  • Petitions ;
  • Secure and encrypted voting process ;
  • Participatory (and social) network ;
  • Digital meetings: With the Covid-19 situation, we have improved digital meeting and started to run different meetings like this to make sure there is participation through video-conferences.

Free software and collaborative development

The second reason why Decidim is an interesting project in terms of free software, is that we, as a public institution, believe that every software that we promote or fund has to be developed using FOSS technology. It’s a way to bring back the contributions and investment of public funding and make sure that the money of the citizens goes back to them.

The project is growing and being reused. The platform was just translated to Catalan, Spanish and English. Today the whole platform has been translated for different communities and different countries in more than 35 languages. This is only possible if the project is free and open. We also believe that the city of Barcelona which has invested money into the development of the platform doesn’t bar other institutions from having sovereignty and autonomy once they start to run the platform for themselves. All the documentation and code are available in a repository in GitHub.

Just to finish, we have a community that is meeting on a [specific platform](https://meta.decidim.org/), discussing the future of the project. We are having physical meetings in Barcelona, and we create a huge eco-system of organizations, companies and institutions that are using and improving Decidim. Now we have different instances, for example: the city of Helsinki, the city of Mexico, the French Assemblée Nationale,…

Thank you very much and I hope this presentation will have contributed to the debate of today.

MCI: Thank you Arnau. Indeed, Decidim is one of the most interesting projects in terms of introducing the free software culture into public administrations, it’s probably the most advanced initiative. It was very important to have you in this event about the governance of FOSS in public administration. I think it’s natural that Decidim has been so clearly embracing the FOSS culture and philosophy because it comes from an idea and object itself that are embedded in this culture and philosophy. But, for decades, we have had Public administrations that have been following other cultures, that have been organized in bureaucracies, that follow the cathedral model. I used to say that in the last 20 years, the software industry moved to free software practices, and now in the next twenty years, we’ll have public administrations moving towards free software culture and practices. We are seeing these things all over the world, but I think it is interesting to listen to the case of CSI Piemonte, which I know very well because it is my territory and I have the honor to contribute to its activity. Laura Garbati will present how CSI Piemonte deals with the process of change of culture.

2. Open source governance within public administrations: Drive the change towards sharing – Laura Garbati

Laura Garbati (LGA) is an intellectual property lawyer, who was passionate about technology and free software from a young age. She worked in a middle size law firm in Milan dealing with privacy and copyright. Today she works at CSI Piemonte, a consortium for the management of information systems of public entities in Piemonte, where she deals with intellectual property, especially applied to software licensing, management, research and development of international projects. Last year she has been lecturing about the legal area of free software management in Turino.

Who and where are we

CSI Piemonte is a consortium of local Public Administration, especially in the Piedmont region. Our mission is the management of the system information of its members (including development and managing of software and digital services). One of our main missions is to support public administrations. We are working on Open source, we define and create open source competence centers to be the single point of reference in supporting projects. We drafted the guidelines on development and procurement, we already released 18 projects.

Just to restate the legal context: The Italian Digital administration code made it compulsory to conduct a comparative technical economical evaluation before purchasing a new software. It also made compulsory the release of software owned by public administration in a public repository under a free license.

The point is that it is not enough. One of our mission is to support the management of projects, but what is management?

What is “governance”

The question we often ask is where to go? However, we also need to know why we go there because it helps to know how to arrive there and how to remain there. The management of an open source project does not end at the release, it is only the beginning of the project. We don’t just need law, which is of course important, but what is fundamental is to develop a common environment and to define a strategy, because community doesn’t happen you make it.

Community doesn’t happen, you make it

In our experience, you have to find the steps in order to transform:

  • A releaser into a maintainer: someone needs to guide, take the responsibility to develop the competence and who has the will to take the responsibility.
  • A fork into a common path, usually it is not mandatory to release software in open source. It was only mandatory to reuse within public administration ( just like in a private club). So we have to learn to work together, of course, not all projects can offer the same opportunities, hence, we also have to create a strategy.
  • A user into a contributor: Public administrations already use Open source, but to transform a user into a contributor, Open source needs to be understood in all of its potential.
  • The solution is that if you want a community you have to start to act within the Public administration before the development.

Community by default (not always the same community)

Different communities exist and different contexts define potential different roles.

For a software development by a single public administration that can be released, the likely possibility is that this PA will become the maintainer of the project. Sometimes we use other third party open source projects, in this case it is better to decide to contribute to the already existing community. Another type of situation which we often face, is the manager of a project already reused a software, but in the old way. Here the goal is to see how to co-develop the software to transform it into an open source project and set agreements in order to bring the different users and products together to create a common project. Not all projects have the same opportunities and potential, so choosing is fundamental. Potentialities can become reality by choosing (as not all projects can become communities). Every step in developing and procuring should be evaluated also with the “community criteria” in mind.

Open Source governance: how-to

We tried to disseminate the culture of open source inside and outside. We have to rethink the acquiring procedure, to change our focus on open source first to consider the opportunity not only the mere market. We have to reorganize the development. We need to transform the release into a share. All of this should not only be done as a separate action but also as elements of a bigger strategy to achieve collaboration, where the community is always present. If we are talking about the development of a project or about procurement methods, community should always be a criterion.

Get an open state of mind: training and support

First of all: training. It’s fundamental: “if your language is the best but no one speaks it becomes useless”. In Italy we also have a lot of public entities with few employees and few resources, so not all administrations can become experts. Which is why we want to create a new regional competence center, (It’s awaiting approval), to become a single point of reference to support internally and externally to help in the management and release of Open Source software (OSS). So it’s a kind of thinktank to define guidelines and business models. Internally, after the training, we already tried to rethink our procurement procedure.

Rethink our procurement procedure

We already have defined guidelines. For at least 5 years we did these technical and economical evaluations, considering also the open source option. Our experience is good but not enough to disseminate and endorse the adoption of open source. A case by case approach is not enough. It’s fundamental to have a vision that can drive the evaluation where you want to invest. We need to have a criterion to evaluate correctly, otherwise there is no substance to compare. There is a need to understand where and why such open source solutions are an opportunity for the public administration. Our experience shows that OS becomes a strategy when the community is an option: when the competence to share something, the community already exists and we can join it.

Reorganizing the development

During the development, this criterion is present because sometimes the whole project is not designed to be released in open source, hence, the effort cannot always be the same. The idea is to define a common baseline for the project, which should be checkable for license compatibility. After that, we drive an evaluation of which project offers the best option and for which community, in order to see what is the potential of each project. We need the Public administration to be aware that not every project can become a community, but they need to evaluate, be aware and have the criteria to evaluate, because some of them can become great projects.

This is why we defined some criteria such as:

  • Where do I want to direct my investment for it to remain meaningful?
  • What is the potential of such a project? (is it suitable just for me?)
  • Can I (and am I interested in) lead aggregating resources?

Some projects are starting to feel less alone …

UNICA suite which is a solution for accountability management, is already used by different PAs with potentially different needs. Other PAs are now interested and thinking about investing. The goal is to show how keeping exclusive control is less important than trustful share. Another example is the Piedmont Region open cloud platform which is based on the Nivola project, a cloud platform based on an Open software released in GPL3. It is developed to aid local entities to reach «the cloud» and the code and documentation are transparent. Everything is done transparently, we are hoping that other projects will meet the same opportunity , because if we do all the steps properly , the PA will become capable of dealing with communities.

Last but not least, I want to share the last experience we have been able to apply our efforts to. All these activities and steps made our process better. With such a basic idea, that acquiring a role in open source context, for a PA improves the procedure of a PA. As OS is made of the same essence as the Public administration, it means that if you think about OS you need be aware and competent, be active, not just passive. If you act to become more open as a PA, the result is to become a healthier PA.

MCI: Thank you, the Piedmont experience is particularly interesting because it is the experience of an organization that has 40 years in managing IT systems in PA, moving towards the adoption of open source, and making part of its works the culture and practices of free software. CSI Piemonte manages a wide number of systems not only in Piedmont.

3. Status of Open Source Software Policies in Europe – Vivien Devenyi and Clare O’Donohoe

Vivien Devenyi (VDE) and Clare O’Donohoe (COD) are two consultants based in Luxembourg who work for the OSOR team who worked on the publication of the open source software country intelligence reports and the status report on open source software policies. The Open Source Observatory (OSOR) is an online platform where the open source community can come together to publish news, find out about events, explore relevant open source software solutions and read about the use of free and open source software in public administrations across and beyond Europe. OSOR also engages with the community through its own events, workshops and webinars and other open source communities. In the Knowledge Centre, OSOR also publishes in-depth studies about the development of open source software throughout the European Union and beyond such as the Status report on open source software policies in the European Union and the Guidelines for sustainable open source communities in the public sector.

OSOR Background

OSOR is a European commission project. It acts as a middle ground to connect European public administrations and other relevant stakeholders that are involved or interested in OS software. It also continuously supports the dynamic community and promotes the use OSS in public sector. The general aim for us is to be a trustworthy observatory and to provide Open Source expertise and information.

The content is varied, it includes news on the recent development in OS in the public sector, event listings for OSOR and other OS focused events, case studies and examples of good practices with a strong emphasis on use of OSS by Public Administration and the monthly newsletter for which we invite you to sign up. That being said, we are not just an observatory, OSOR strives to play an active role in the community. We promote OSS and help European countries with its adoption. We also regularly organize different events and attend different events all over Europe, such as EOLE. By doing this we are constantly working on developing strong ties with the community and to keep OSOR relevant to your needs. For this reason, we host a knowledge center which give access to a variety of resources. The knowledge centers content is continuously updated and open to contributions by the community, it includes guidelines for creating sustainable OS communities in the Public sectors. The case studies are also available. There is also an up-to-date list of associations that are focused on OS, and also a list of OSS repositories that are relevant for PAs or created by PAs. The country intelligence on open source software policies is also located in the knowledge center.

The OSOR country intelligence reports are a major feature of the knowledge center, it details governance, political and legal frameworks and any major ongoing OSS initiatives in the 27 EU member states and the UK. Our desk research findings are validated by national contact points, when possible, however not all reports were confirmed with contact points in which case they were just compiled using publicly available information. All the findings were analyzed in order to provide a consolidated overview and a consolidated report and this also available in the knowledge center. We recently launched the research process for further 16 reports on various countries worldwide.

Governance of Open Software

There are eleven countries in total (colored in blue), which have one or more public sector body that addresses open source software explicitly form a policy making perspective. The countries that are shaded in gray don’t have such a public body, but all have an established governance around digitalization policies.

The role of these bodies does vary from policy-making to coordination and overseeing the PA progress and adopting OSS, developing and implementation of OSS. Our research found that while some counties may have multiple bodies focusing on OS, the functions of the bodies don’t overlap. They all have clearly defined roles and ensure that their work is complimentary. An example of a country with plenty of public sector bodies is Belgium, which is the only country with 3 public sector bodies focusing on OS. The singular body in each region has the main responsibility in addressing open source. As an example, the DG of digital transformation and the Flanders Information agency, are both active in implementing open source initiatives, such as the national EID.

We also found 4 countries with 2 public sector bodies focusing on OSS, with, again, varying roles. For example, in Sweden, the Agency for digital government (policy-making and adoption of OS) and the Swedish national procurement services (various initiatives which endorse and promote the adoption of OS).

In 6 countries we found 1 public body responsible for OSS, which is working to implement OS across administrations. For example, the Portuguese Administrative Modernization Agency launched a number of OS initiatives throughout the Portuguese Public Sector. They also hold regular workshops on the topic. (see more details in the presentation).

Political and legislative open source software initiatives

These are the main types of binding legal documents that we found throughout our research which are action plans, policies, guidelines… The map offers an insight on each country’s political framework around Open Source Software. As you can see every country apart from Ireland and Cyrpus has at least one political initiative that addresses OS software, in our research we found a total of 72 political initiatives. The countries that are shown in light blue, we have found, have national initiatives that mention OSS but are not specifically dedicated to the matter and usually part of the general digitalization efforts of countries.

The countries shown in dark blue comprise out of the 75 total, 25 of political initiatives that focus specifically on OSS. We can take a look at those specific political initiatives in a bit more detail, this is of course not the full list.

Based on our findings, four keys clusters have emerged:

  • Procurement: highlights national documents, which based on our findings, are guidelines on how to fairly include OSS in public tenders and how to fairly consider it against proprietary software. In 2010, Sweden signed such a framework agreement for the procurement of OS software at the national level. The central government, the public education sector, 20 city councils and 225 municipalities signed the agreement.
  • Promotion: includes various political initiatives we identified previously which call for PAs to use OSS, without necessarily providing a specific program on how to do it. For instance, the OSS policy of 2019 published by the Malta Information Technology agency encourages the adoption of cost effective OSS solutions throughout the Maltese administration. They are also favoring licensing under EUPL.
  • Development: consists of the political initiatives we identified that encourage Public administrations to create their own Public software for internal use. In 2018 the French contribution policy for OSS of the state, defined the conditions for public servants looking to contribute to OSS created by third parties. It also encourages the publication of new software developed by the government itself.
  • Adoption: Includes specific solutions that PA should adopt or specific guidelines on how they should be done as part of their policies or action plans. Based on our research, we considered this to be the key cluster for OSS, because such initiatives call on administrations to implement OSS and to use them. For example Denmark Aarhus Municipality published such an Open Source action plan in 2014, adopted as a continuation of its efforts to further develop an OS policy.

The types we encountered throughout our research which are of course all legally binding, are the decrees, directives, laws and parliamentary resolutions. It is visible on the map that fewer countries have legal initiatives on open source software. Indeed we identified a total of 25 instances and only 6 of these initiatives are specifically focused on the use of open source software in the public sector in the countries shown in dark blue.

6 legal initiatives listed in chronological order:

  • French Ayrault circular (2012): defined the general guidelines for the use of OSS in PA. It also states that OS must be considered equal to proprietary software.
  • Maltese OSS directive (2012): is a guide for the public sector on how to turn to open source. It also states that preference should be given to open source over proprietary software in the government.
  • Italian Code of digital administration (2013): is a very important legal initiative for OS nationally. Of all the initiatives presented in this slide, it is the only one making it mandatory for Italy’s public administrations to use OS solutions as well as to first consider reusing the already available solutions.
  • Hungarian decree 1236/2016 (2016): the main goal of this first decree is to disseminate and encourage the use of OSS and open standards throughout the government and they do this by installing OS on work stations for example.
  • Hungarian Decree 1604/2016 (2016): this second decree further specify the tasks that arise from such dissemination of OSS and open standards.
  • French Decree no. 2017-683 (2017): specifies the types of OSS licenses that can be used for administrative documents that are communicable and reusable.

These countries showcase good practices in terms of OSS. In Malta there is strong support stemming from the governmental level for the adoption of OSS. In Italy as well, the developers Italia community is the national point of reference for all OS solutions. Finally, in Hungary, the push for OSS around 2016 lead to numerous workshops for the public sector as well as local government. Many migrations happened and to this day still use OSS on many of their work stations.

As you can see, the number of initiatives has been increasing significantly over the last two decades from one initiative in 2001 to more than 100 identified initiatives now. There is an optimistic outlook for the future. This is sort of based on the recent publication of the European Commission’s Open Source Software Strategy and the signature of the Berlin Declaration by the EU member states. We are really hoping that this positive trend will endure and that PA in Europe will continue to foster a culture of OS.

Next steps

After this presentation on OSOR’s research findings for the publication of the country intelligence reports, particularly on OSS policies, you might be wondering what is coming next. We are drafting 16 new reports, covering the European free trade association countries, some pre-EU accession countries and other countries around the globe, so we want to have broader coverage. So, again, if you have any feedback, or knowledge or know someone interested in sharing their expertise, we would be happy to hear from you. So on that note, please don’t hesitate to get in contact at EU-OSOR@ec.europa.eu.

Marco: Thank you very much, it was a very interesting presentation that gives us a feeling of why all these things are happening now. As all over Europe, things are happening and there is a growing interest from public administrations in free software culture and practices. That would be a driver in my personal opinion, for change in PA more widely, as also suggest the Decidim project. It is also interesting not only for the FOSS aspect but also from a wider cultural perspective.

Question time

So now, is time for Questions and answers. We have 15 minutes, I suggest starting from the questions we have in the chat then I have a couple of personal questions I will ask if we have time.

Johan Linåker from the chat: Thanks for the presentation! Is there a collaboration with other regional competence centers? How does it look? What support do you get from the national level?

LGA: Thanks for the question. We are trying to organize ourselves together, but the main point is that it’s an already existing agency called AGID which is a sponsor for the national digitalization of public administrations. It had already come with the center about OS, and there is also a team that takes care of the developers’ platform, a platform on which the PAs publish their open source projects, so we are in a dialogue with them. AGID communicated on their latest plan, they published a plan for public digitalization and just planned for the constitution of the circle of the territorial note of those OS center of competence. One the first of them should be our (Piedmont) center of competence. About other regional competence centers, we meet to share experience, and when you meet and share, connections are created and so different dialogues are open. Maybe not already a really common and solid architecture but we are moving towards such a system. Open standard and open solution is a good umbrella for several public administrations. They need solid guidelines in order to move. I hope I gave a satisfying answer.

MCI: I would like to open this question a bit, the issue of competence centers for me is particularly connected to the issue of fostering cost mutualization in free software development. This is the most interesting practical goal in creating links among different public administrations dealing with free software. I wonder if you have something to add about this? Laura for example how did you manage to foster cost sharing with other public administration?

LGA: It’s a crucial point, one of the main elements in order to foster the co-development, and because we are talking about PA, we have to deal with the procedure law, to be able to justify our expenses. We are working on it, but we’re only at the first level, we’re the result of the investment of single PA, which is an initiative of the Piedmont region. But for different open source projects, we are working on different solutions which go through the idea of a combination. For example, we can have a great project with one strong maintainer, and others are the users, so that we can get feedback but without any financial investment. In other scenarios, the idea to create something like a democratic committee to identify which are the functionalities and which of the participants take care of the development of those specific functionalities. It’s easier in my opinion, to coordinate different developments to aggregate them, than putting different needs and resources in the same basket. When this second solution has been taken into consideration, it takes into consideration also the idea of creating another entity a foundation for example, which can manage it more easily, and take responsibility for such project. I hope I have been clear enough.

MCI: Yes, thank you very much, I wonder if Arnau has something to add from his experience.

AMO: Yes, actually, we created something similar. We had the problem that, we were promoting a community, but we, as the city of Barcelona, own the rights to decide on the repository. We promote the creation of an organization from the community and the community constituting a legal organization, we created an agreement between the city of Barcelona and the organization of Decidim and another public institution which is a federation of different Catalonia cities, just to share the ability to make the decisions affecting the main repository. But with no money, just sharing the ability to decide on the repository. We have two levels of contribution. One is a level just to maintain the core of the project and the other is affecting new contribution. Now we are creating a new agreement with the city of Barcelona, Catalonia government, other cities. We are also translating to English in order to foster participation from others. We establish different levels of amounts of money depending on the size of the institution just to contribute to the core maintenance. As we now are at a moment where we are receiving a lot of contributions, and we have a huge amount of work just to maintain the project and we need these resources just to keep aligned the structure of the software. And we have another way to contribute, if you want a new feature we found a very good mechanism through the community, you publish the contribution and it has to be discussed with the community and improved and then a technical team, according to the special contract, to ensure if this new contribution can be made official or not. But if you want to add a development on your own, you can also do it but not as an official model. We have this combination of different governments contributing to the core development and at the same time developing their own models as plug-ins.

MCI: Thank you very much. I think Laura had a question for you : Are these agreements published somewhere?

AMO: Yes, we translate it to English and everything is on the site of the community.

LGA: just a clarification, at last, all the development decided democratically, is it financed by the city of Barcelona? If I understood correctly? So they reach the proposal and then they try the development and support the development?

AMO: the major part of the investment, let’s say 90 to 95% of the whole budget, comes from the city of Barcelona, but in the last two or three years, others started to invest a lot. Not only by developing their own instances but also by contributing to the whole project. For example, the Catalan government is investing several cities are investing,… Yes, a lot of different institutions are investing.

MCI: Okay, if there is no other question, we are approaching the end of time. Just a short observation from my perspective of nasty lawyer. I see it’s very important, they see that also the Decidim project owns the full copyright on the project. Having full copyright control of the name, the trademark for the project, the ability to control who are the admins in the public repository, these are the points where basically power lies in FOSS. I know that in other administrations, public administrations don’t require full copyright on the Free software developed, In Italy it is mandatory, the PA has to provide, in the procurement process for acquisition of the code developed by providers, this an issue to consider.