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Increase availability of open source software (NL0049)



Action Plan: Netherlands Action Plan 2020-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2020

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK)

Support Institution(s): Other Actors Involved State actors involved Several ministries and other government organisations 29 CSOs, private sector, multilat erals, working groups ICTU, Foundation for Public Code, Open State Foundation, Code for NL, EMMA Communicatie

Policy Areas

Automated Decision-Making, Digital Governance, E-Government

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


What is the public problem that the commitment will address? BZK supports the principle that software developed with public funds is shared with society as much as possible. Publishing the source code benefits general interests, such as less waste, innovation, more economic activity, transparency and information security. At the same time, there is still little practical experience with the release of the source code. It is also not always clear to a government organization what costs are involved in the release and whether the benefits as mentioned above actually manifest themselves.

What is the commitment? The commitment contains various activities to stimulate the availability of open source software: 1. Wiki | BZK is developing a Wiki "publishing source code". This template states what government employees should consider when publishing code. When (and how) do you publish open source? This includes practical aids such as a financial checklist, a guide to determine the optimal location and a step-by-step plan for management after the first publication. This Wiki is primarily intended for policymakers and procurator of ICT solutions. 2. Community formation | The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is committed to increasing the quality of open source code so that the code remains well-maintained and attractive for reuse. BZK also wants to stimulate knowledge sharing in this area. A strong (online) community is indispensable for this. That is why BZK is investigating what characterizes open source communities and what their strengths are (a.). BZK also offers a Pleio environment for sharing knowledge and experience (b.). 3. Research good examples of open source | The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, together with other ministries and local authorities, provides good examples showing the effects of the release (and use) of open source. 4. Decision-making on follow-up | At the end of Q1 2021, the minister will inform the House of the outcomes of the open source action plan and will be pre-sorted according to the policy commitment in the next government term. In due time it is therefore determined whether the current approach with regard 28 to this policy line has sufficient effect, or whether it should be made more binding.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? Unknown makes unloved, which is why a large part of the activities are aimed at increasing awareness of the open source way of working. By expanding the knowledge base, by means of commissioning research and bundling existing research in the online Pleio environment (online platform) and in the wiki, this provides public professionals with tools to make informed choices about choosing open source.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Making open source source codes available increases the transparency of public digital services. Because interested parties can watch, make suggestions for changes and participate in communities, the degree of participation is increased. Because the government shows more how work is done and source codes become transparent, the commitment contributes to public accountability. The above values are supported by technology and innovation.

Additional information Letter to Parliament about the release of source code for government software: For a comprehensive overview, including effects, limitations, costs and possible risks, see ‘Considerations for ‘Open by default…’ and the open source approach’: Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date: 1. Wiki on ‘publishing source code’ 1-1-2021 1-3-2021 2. Building a Community 1-1-2021 31-12-2022 a. Research on Open Source Communities 1-1-2021 1-3-2021 b. Pleio environment (online platform) for sharing knowledge and experience 1-1-2021 31-12-2022 3. Research on good examples of open source 1-1-2021 31-12-2022 4. Decision-making about follow-up 1-1-2021 31-3-2021


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  2. Create national portal for transparent election results

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  3. Develop and implement digital participation platform at local level

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  4. Make FOIA information available through open data platform

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  5. Encourage active disclosure of government information

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  6. Implement plain language initiatives

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  7. Determine balance between government confidentiality and citizens' right to information

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  8. Training civil servants in active disclosure

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  9. Develop contract monitoring register

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  10. Pilot open data communities concept

    NL0048, 2020, Access to Information

  11. Increase availability of open source software

    NL0049, 2020, Automated Decision-Making

  12. Improve government purchase and use of algorithms

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  13. Publish complaints about public services as open data

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  14. Local Digital Democracy

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  15. Dilemma Logic

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  16. Join EITI

    NL0030, 2018, Access to Information

  17. Open Algorithms

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  18. Open Local Decision-Making

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  19. ‘Open by Design’ Pilots

    NL0033, 2018, Access to Information

  20. Open Contracting

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  21. Open Parliament

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  22. Open Government Standard and Dashboard

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  23. Pioneering Network for an Open Government for Municipalities

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  24. Transparent Political Party Finance

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  25. National Open Data Agenda

    NL0019, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Stuiveling Open Data Award

    NL0020, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Groningen Open Data Re-Use

    NL0021, 2016, Access to Information

  28. Releasing Ministerial Research Reports

    NL0022, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Detailed Open Spending Data

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  30. Open Local Authority Decision-Making

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  31. Training Civil Servants on Public Participation

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  32. Easier Freedom of Information Requests

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  33. Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO)

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  34. Further Develop and Promote Disclosure and Use of Open Data

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  35. Increase Financial Transparency Through Open Budget and Experiments with Open Spending and Budget Monitoring

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  36. Open House of Representatives

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  37. Instruments for Integrity

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  38. Revamp the Legislative Calendar

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  39. More Online Consultation

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  40. More Transparency in Decision-Making Through Volgdewet.Nl Legislation-Tracking Website

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  41. Informal Approach to Freedom of Information Requests

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  42. From Rules to Freedom

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  43. Change Attitudes and Procedures Through Smarter Working and ‘Public Servant 2.0’

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  44. Water Coalition

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  45. Develop and Implement Participation Policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

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  46. Make Government Information Accessible and Easy to Find

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  47. Make Citizens Better Informed and More Empowered: Public Inspection and Correction of Information

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  48. Open Announcements and Notifications

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  49. Public Services and the User Perspective

    NL0016, 2013, E-Government

  50. Designate Categories of Government Information for Active Access

    NL0017, 2013, Access to Information

  51. Rethink Information Management and Active Access: Four ‘Open by Design’ Pilot Projects

    NL0018, 2013, Access to Information

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