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You are here: Home FSF News Attend Massachusetts Senate meeting today to support OpenDocument

Attend Massachusetts Senate meeting today to support OpenDocument

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Nov 03, 2005 01:53 PM expired
An anti-OpenDocument amendment to an economic stimulus bill has suddenly appeared and will be read today.

If you are in the Boston area, please head to the Massachusetts state house now. A last-minute amendment has been introduced which would create a new task force to further review OpenDocument, effectively nullifying the previous decision. This bill is receiving a "second reading" during the Senate session today.

The meeting started at 1pm. Attending the meeting will demonstrate concern about the issue and show legislators that this new amendment is significant and problematic. FSF will be there.

Read background information about the new amendment.

Here is the offending text from the amendment to S2256:

SECTION 4. Said chapter 7 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 57. (a) There shall be a commonwealth information technology expert task force, hereinafter referred to as the task force, consisting of 4 members to be appointed by the governor, 1 member to be appointed by the treasurer, 1 member to be appointed by the state secretary, and 1 member to be appointed by the auditor. Of the members appointed by the governor, at least 1 shall be a representative of the business community with experience in the telecommunications industry, and at least 1 shall be a representative of the business community with experience in information technology. Members of the task force shall be appointed for terms of 3 years or until a successor is appointed. Members shall be eligible to be reappointed and shall serve without compensation. A chairperson of the task force shall be elected annually from the membership. An employee of the commonwealth shall not be a member of the task force.

(b) The task force shall make recommendations concerning government information technology policy and practices. The chief information officer of the information technology division may request the task force to provide recommendations or analysis on specific matters. The task force shall issue annual reports to the governor, the general court, and the information technology advisory council established by section 390 of chapter 149 of the acts of 2004, and may issue additional reports from time to time. The task force recommendations shall address, but not be limited to, the following matters: (1) procurement policies by commonwealth agencies, constitutional offices, and other government entities concerning computer hardware and software, cellular telephones, personal data accessories, and other information technology devices; (2) format and content of web pages maintained by commonwealth agencies, constitutional offices, and other government entities; and (3) software standards governing commonwealth agencies, constitutional offices, and other government entities.

In offering recommendations, the task force's analysis shall include, but not be limited to, the following considerations: (1) cost-benefit analysis of proposed policies or practices; (2) security of proposed policies or practices from viruses, hacking, and other breaches; (3) the extent to which the proposed policy or practice results in user-friendly applications for commonwealth employees, business entities, and members of the public; and (4) proposals and options to facilitate more efficient transactions between commonwealth entities and the public, including on-line transactions.

* An executive agency or department shall not adopt or implement a policy, practice or standard concerning information technology standards or systems or the procurement or use of hardware, software, and cellular phones and other electronic devices, without the affirmative approval of the task force by majority vote. Any executive agency or department policy, practice or standard concerning the creation, storage or archiving of documents or materials shall also be approved by the supervisor of public records and the records conservation board, and shall be certified by the state auditor as maintaining or enhancing the commonwealth's compliance with Section 508 of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1973.

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