from the power-of-the-purse dept.
James Love writes "Today Ralph Nader and I wrote U.S. Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch
Daniels to ask the federal government to use its power as a big consumer to
address competition issues in the market for PC client software. These are
some of the practices we want OMB to examine: OMB is asked to provide information on federal expenditures for Microsoft products, determine if a software "monoculture"
makes the federal government more vulnerable to computer viruses or unauthorized access to federal computers, and to consider a number of strategies to use the US government's purchasing power to promote competition and make Microsoft behave; OMB is asked to consider if Microsoft should be required (as a matter of procurement policy) to fully disclose the file formats of its office productivity and multimedia programs, so that the data created in such programs could be reliably read by non-Microsoft software; OMB is asked to consider if it should place a cap of the market share for any one vendor of PC client software, and have the size of the cap depend upon Microsoft's willingness to open up its interface information, or port its MS Office products to additional platforms; OMB is also asked to consider if it would be more efficient to buy code for office productivity products (and release into the public domain), rather than spend billions to lease software."
The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be
in inverse proportion to the sum involved.
-- C.N. Parkinson