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 Software. We have an open letter, which you can sign as an individual or as a Non-governmental organisation (NGO). So far we have over 26.000 people and nearly 200 NGOs supporting our goal. And already three public entities, the German "Samtgemeinde Elbmarch", the Spanish parliament from Asturias "Junta General del Principado de Asturias" and the Spanish city of Barcelona signed our open letter. We would like to have more administrative units supporting our cause. But to achieve this we need your help.
What we want you to do
While we already have three public entities which signed the open letter, we still would like to have more public administrations to sign and thereby support our cause. Therefore we would like you to get in contact with your local public administrative units, like the Parliament of the twon/city you live in or the administration of the University/school, etc..
How to approach the administrative unit
1. The first step is to find out who to send this letter to. Search for the contact details of the public entity you want to get in contact with. Look for their full names and mail addresses.
If you don’t find the names and addresses directly you can also call and ask them for any contact details.
2. The next step is to write a letter suitable for the administration unit you want to reach out to. There is an example for a letter below the steps. To get an overview of what a letter should look like you can also follow these bullet points:
- start with an introduction about 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 of what Free Software means,
- arguments for the benefit from using Free Software in public administration
*Here you can also have a look at the arguments we used on the "Public Money? Public Code!" website. One of the suitable arguments that could be used for any public entity is saving costs in a long-term perspective through the use of Free Software.
- 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 administrative unit:
- Open data, open government or open standards:
If the public entity you are getting in contact with has connections to open government, open data or open standards, then you could use this as an argument. Open government, open data or open standards have the same goals to achieve a more open infrastructure in the public administration as well as in the way a government works. To have Free 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 administrative unit you are planning 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 Software:
Have a look at any published document for their stand on digital policy. Maybe the administration unit you are writing to is in favour of more transparency or even says directly that they want to use Free Software. You can also search for interviews about the digital policy of the administrative unit, 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:
Additional information could be the direct engagement of the public entity 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 your letter and find related arguments from their engagement to the use of Free Software in the public administration.
3. After you have the 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 administrative unit for PMPC".
For a first impression on what 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 will find more arguments on our PMPC-website, or in our video, as well as in the brochure itself.
Also if you have a question, please 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 you!