Open Source Bill Introduced in Oregon

The bill would mandate that open source software be on the list of approved products for use by state agencies.

by / March 6, 2003
SALEM, Ore. -- An Oregon lawmaker introduced a bill Thursday that would require state agencies to "consider the use of open source software" for all new software acquisitions.

"Oregon could save millions of dollars while achieving very high reliability in its computing needs," State Representative Phil Barnhart said in a statement on the introduction of the bill, HB 2892.

Unlike California's Digital Software Security Act, Oregon's bill does not mandate the use of open source software. The bill only requires that it be "on the list" of approved products for state use. It also requires state agencies to provide justification to the taxpayers any time proprietary software is purchased.

Several independent studies have found open source software to be faster, more reliable and less costly than proprietary products produced by Microsoft and others, and many governments around the world are already switching to open source, according to Barnhart's office, citing recent applications based on an open source model developed by Rhode Island's Office of the Secretary of State.

If the measure passes, Barnhart's office said, Oregon will become the first U.S. state to embody open source recognition into law.