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Oregon grants de facto taxing power to various private entities that supply mission-critical goods and services to the government. A conspicuous example is the licensing of proprietary software, used on somewhat more than 10,000 desktops in government offices. Free, public domain software would often be a satisfactory substitute.
With $1 million over two years, an effective demonstration project could be accomplished which would prove the point and provide step-by-step instructions for a transition. Many distinguished local professionals would be happy to provide pro bono consulting on this. Biggest obstacle would probably be a culture change, getting managers and IT supervisors to see the possibility. Implementation (like any change, such as revisions to commercial software suites) presents certain challenges, and should be an emphasis of the demo project.
Continuing the effort after the grant would entail savings rather than costs. Savings would continue to pay dividends over subsequent years. A bonus would be that, in many cases, ceasing to use certain commercial products could improve security.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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