Join the action!
This wiki page is part of the FSFE campaign Public Money Public Code and a call for action!
“Public Money? Public Code!” in Europe
Our initiative “Public Money? Public Code!” has the purpose that Software, funded by public money and used in the public administration shall be Free and Open Source Software. We have an open letter, which you can sign as an individual or as a NGO. So far we have over 26.000 people and nearly 200 NGOs supporting our goal. Next to this we have already three administrations who have signed our letter but still we would like to have more administration supporting our cause. To achieve this we need your help.
What we want?
The example of the three administration in mind we wanted others to follow suit. Meaning that we would like other administrations, cities and towns to implement the use of Free and Open Source Software in the public administration as a guiding principle. Contacting an administration can by this not only mean to contact the local government you could also get in contact with the municipal utilities, the local hospital, schools or universities and so on.
How to approach the administrations
- 1.The first step is to find out who to send this letter to.
Search for the contact details of your administration you want to get in contact with. Look for their full names and mail addresses.
If you don’t find them directly you can also call and ask them for any contact details.
- The next step is to write a letter suitable for the administration you want to reach out to. There is an example for a letter below the steps. To get an overview what a letter should look like you can also follow these bullet points:
- First write who you are and why you are writing to them,
- some basic information about the “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign as well as a short explanation on what Free Software means,
- arguments for the benefit from using Free Software in the public administration
*Here you can also have a look at the arguments we used on the "Public Money? Public Code!" website. Especially the argument that in a long-term perspective the use of Free Software can save costs.
- end the letter with a question, so they are obliged to answer you back.
Additional information you could use for arguments in your letter to the administration:
- Open data, open government or open standards: If the administration you are getting in contact with have connections to open government, open data or open standards, then you could use this as an argument. As open government, open data or open standards have the same goals to achieve an more open infrastructure in the public administration as well as in the way a government works. To have Free and Open Source Software in the public infrastructure needs to be a general part of the demands of open government, open data and open standards.
- Progressive digital policy: If the administration you are planing on writing to is in favour of or engaged in a progressive digital policy you could use this as an argument in your letter. Draw a line from progressive digital policy to implementing the use of Free Software in the public administration, depending on their digital strategy.
- Coalition agreement, (party) statements about digital policy or a positive stand on Free and Open Source Software: Have a look at any published document for their stand on digital policy. Maybe the administration you are writing to is in favour for more transparency or even says directly that they want to use Free or Open Source Software. You can also search for interviews where they talk about the digital policy of the administration, or maybe you saw a post/tweet on their social media about their digital policy.
- personal or professional involvement with Free Software or connections to Free Software
- Another good additional information could be the direct engagement of the administration in free software. Maybe for example a mayor is supporting the local Linux-user group or the local hackerspace or is otherwise engaged in Free Software. You could use this information in you letter and find related arguments from their engagement to the use of Free Software in the public administration.
3. After you have your letter ready you can go ahead and send it to them. Please also attach the “Public Money? Public Code!”-brochure for further information.
Now you just have to wait and see how they respond to you.
4. Let us know what you have done and what responses you got. So that we can help you with any further steps. You can send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line contacting administration for PMPC.
For a first impression on how a letter could look like have a look at our example letter. But, please keep in mind, that it might be better to send a personalised letter in your mother tongue. You find more arguments on our PMPC-website, or in our video as well as in the brochure itself.
Also if you have any question, pleas contact us by sending us an e-mail to email@example.com
Thank you for your help and we are looking forward to hear from your engagement!