Stef was recently talking about Free Software acquisition by governments and I wanted to add my two cents.
I agree that increased adoption of Free Software in public administrations requires more support and deployment infrastructure. Procurement guidelines need to be drafted with an awareness of Free Software. Purchasing managers need to be trained in the benefits it offers.
It is true that the US government is increasingly supportive of Free Software. The NSA is putting considerable effort into development efforts, and the Department of Defense is adopting Free Software solutions. In Europe, the decision in Italy to move various government computers over to Free Software is to be applauded. It’s a good first step in the right direction.
Let’s not be complacent though. We still have a long way to go. We need more advocates. We need more training. Outreach efforts are a critically important part of the growth of our movement.