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3.9. Reuse of software or use of open source software

The second chapter of these guidelines, dedicated to Article 68, outlines the process by which the administration decides how to identify software.

If the administration, following the proposed comparative assessment, chooses to reuse existing software or to use open source software, the process used is described in this section, and is the same in both cases.

3.9.1. Use of reusable or open source software

In general, it is not necessary to obtain authorisation from the owner of the rights to the software; in fact, the reuse model outlined for the use of open licences, allows for the adoption of software without the need to enter into any convention or to make a request for access: software published as described in 3.6 Releasing existing software under open licence, is immediately available for a requirements compatibility analysis, for customisation and for use.

As explained in 3.8.3 Support for reusing administrations, it is advisable to contact the current person in charge of software maintenance, to agree, in a technical sense, how to carry out the required modifications in the most effective way and coordinate economic efforts.

3.9.2. Modifications to reusable or open source software

From a regulatory point of view, modifications or customisations to software under open licence are subject to Article 69(2) and therefore must be implemented by acquiring full ownership of the code developed. However, the reuse of software without any modifications, does not constitute an obligation to release.

From the point of view of acquisition of ownership, the fact that the software being modified is not the property of the administration making the modification does not exempt the latter from the obligation to acquire ownership of the modifications developed. Please refer to 1.5 Ownership.

Conversely, at a technical level, the process for making changes is different from the maintenance process described in 3.8 Maintenance of software by the owner administration, since the interventions will take place on software that is not fully owned and therefore technical coordination is desirable, which was previously described in relation to opportunities and benefits in 3.8.3 Support for reusing administrations.

The technical process is detailed in Annex D: Guide to reusing open source software. In the case of procurement, the administration is required to include the guide among the tender technical documents, for example as an annex to the technical specifications, so that suppliers have immediate evidence of the process required.