Thanks for joining the conversation. I totally agree that we should focus on the objectives. Regarding the goals:
This could be an interesting approach and is actually the case of the USA regarding the federal source code policy. In the case of the contribution policy template, the choice to open up source code is already made and is a prerequisite. The goal of the policy is to focus on the How and not on the Why or What.
If I agree I don't understand how this can be valued. Remember that this policy is aiming civil servants and subcontractors. Recognizing their individual contributions to free software is a way to value the work. To me, it is more than volunteer commitment since it might also be the right way to develop certain kind of software. It is important that governments recognize individual contributions wether the contributor is a civil servant of a subcontractor. In France with the digital republic law, code should be opened by default. Even if it was not the case, I would like a civil servant to be able to release free software and that there is no administrative barrier to do so. We need express authorization so that no direct manager can forbid it (without justifying for security purposes and so on).
What do you mean by that ? Have a financial support to key free softwares ? In that case wouldn't the best way to have a financial contribution to foundations like the core infrastructure initiative of the Linux foundation https://www.coreinfrastructure.org/ to avoid the lobby risk of having a government directly support the development of privacy related components such as gnupg ?
If this is not directly related to the template, I still believe it is an interesting idea that can be described as an easy best practice in the introduction part. Please let me know if I did not understand you correctly.
In the end, I don't know in what way a government can contribute to charities. In France I believe the only way is that the citizen can reduce its tax based on the amount given to public interest charities. It would have to be a international subsidiary effort that we could discuss during the workshop.
Not sure to understand and seems very vague to me. Budgets are granted within the administration based on their missions. Free software is a way for them to do more with less and maximize reuse.
This is another topic that is out of scope of this policy. General support contracts for free software is a very interesting subject in France. We can have a special discussion around this if you want. What would be in the scope of this policy are best practices to follow for contributing patches in the scope of those support contracts.
Next to support contracts, governments could request that a custom developments should be made as free software. Again if the goal of the policy is not the Why and the What, it should focus on how those subcontracted developments can be made. For me the same principles should be applied and individual contributions should be recognized. The difficulty would be that no general pre-authorization can be granted beforehand and contractual clauses should be present in the public tender with the contractor to allow those free software developments. This would clearly be in the scope of this policy. In France I would add a pointer to legal contractual clauses that need to be in the public tender, and complete with best practices that should be respected by the government and by the subcontractor (public repository not owned by the subcontractor, etc)
The prime minister memorandum on free software in France propose the same kind of idea. This might be difficult to organize and depends on the purpose of the software. For me it is out of scope of the policy since it should be triggered once the decision has been made to release free software.