State agencies remain reluctant to leave wider room for the use of free open-source computer software as they have been heavily dependent on software produced by U.S. giant Microsoft, officials say.
Ade Nasrun, a research and development staffer for the Education Ministry, said most civil servants were not interested in using open-source software, mainly because they did not have the time to learn how to use the complex programs.
"Only around 5 percent of the software used here is open-source. This is because we don't have time to learn how to use it in the middle of tight deadlines," he said Friday.
Under the Indonesia Go Open Source (IGOS) campaign launched in 2004, the government has been intensively promoting the use of open-source software, which is easily available on the Internet for free.
Open-source software are programs developed by independent organizations or companies in an effort to provide free or affordable computer software, as well as to clamp down on piracy.
The development of the software is also aimed at reducing the domination of huge software companies such as Microsoft, which often charge expensive prices for their products.
"Besides the complexity in the display of open-source applications, many of us are also afraid to change our way of working with Microsoft Office," said Ade.
Although his division has used the Red Hat and Fedora Linux operating systems and the Open Office application, there is less interest in using locally made open-source programs such as IGOS Nusantara and the IGOS National Desktop System.
In June 2004, five ministries signed a declaration to use open-source software.
However, only the State Ministry of Research and Technology, has acted on the declaration, with 92 percent of its computers running open-source programs, according to Engkos Koswara, staff expert at the state ministry of research and technology.
Other ministries involved -- the Communications and Information Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry and the State Ministry for Administrative Reforms -- remain reluctant to use the software.
Deputy assistant for the automatic administration program at the State Ministry of Administrative Reforms, Rusdianto, said the ministry was still in the process of educating many of its civil servants in computer literacy.
"When our staff have enough skill to operate computers, then we will start using open-source software," he said.