Those who are following government initiatives to mandate the use of open standards and/or open source will be aware that Europe has been a leading change agent in this area, joining the pioneering work in a similar vein of Massachusetts and Minnesota and, more recently, Texas. Those that have been following European initiatives closely will also be aware that Denmark has been in the legislative forefront, and that blogger John Gotze has been kind enough to provide English-language commentary and updates on what's been happening there.
A couple of days ago, John posted an update at his blog on open standards legislative action in Denmark, which you can find here. The following are a few excerpts to set the stage, and you can also find an English language summary of recent developments here in PDF form, and here in ODF format.
The implementation plan is presented in a report which suggests that “open standards should be implemented gradually by making it mandatory for the public sector to use a number of open standards when this becomes technically feasible”.
The report identifies an initial sets of open standards as candidates for mandatory use from 1 January 2008 “if an economic impact assessment shows that this will not involve additional costs to the public sector”.
Those who wonder whether Microsoft's efforts to gain formal adoption of Office Open XML as a standard will find the following excerpt of interest:
With regard to standards for exchanging documents between public authorities, the report proposes that “it should be mandatory to use at least one of the document standards Open Document Format or Office OpenXML”, and that it is up to the individual agency to decide what they want. The report explains that a study will be conducted this year with “the purpose of obtaining the necessary experience with these standards before 1 January 2008″.
There's quite a bit more detail at John's blog, and he also indicates that he would be interested in receiving international input on this plan, so feel free to not only visit, but to leave a comment as well.
For further blog entries on Open Source and Open Standards, click here