Private contractors can be ordered to publish the source. This is the choice of the owner of the software (which is the government) rather than the contractor.
In terms of quantity — probably yes. But office suites, OSs, RDMBS, hypervisors and the likes are not the problematic bits in government software. They most often work. The problematic bits are exactly the custom ones. And they are not that minor.
Initially the companies working on it will have to manage contributions (if such exist), afterwards there will be dedicated people that will have the right to do that. It is indeed time-consuming, so I don’t expect it to be smooth, but we’ll see.
This comes at a very good time, as I’m now writing the ordinance for the electronic governance act, and there I’ve planned a section on usability. We have been discussing the option of publishing UX guidelines, and the main source of inspiration was indeed usability.gov (as well as the UK guidelines).
The provisions do not exclude close-source solutions. They just state that if the government wishes to get something custom, it has to be open source. If it wants a CMS, for example, it can list the requirements, and then one vendor can say “I’ll write it from scratch, for a million and in a year”, and Telerik will say “I’ll give you Sitefinity…
Thanks for your message. We indeed used OSI definitions as a basis. I even suggested taking it verbatim, but during the discussions the current definition emerged somehow.
I am currently writing the ordinance for applying the law and I indent of putting EUPL as the default recommended license (as it’s GPL-compatible), as…