FLOSS became a central policy for the Brazilian government on October 23, 2003, with the special decree that created the related e-Government committees. There were eight committees, to work on the development of a government strategy, and one of them was the Free Software Implementation Committee (Comitê de Implementação de Software Livre), which had a special focus on migration from proprietary to free software in public sector.
However, the migration experience has shown to be very difficult, with a number of cultural and technical challenges. As a strategic solution, the Ministry of Planning part of the committee decided to focus on new free software development and collaboration efforts, in the interest of the government entities. As a result, the Brazilian Public Software Portal (Portal do Software Público Brasileiro) was created in 2007, as a central repository (www.softwarepublico.gov.br) where all the government agencies could collaborate through shared software solutions.
Currently, the Portal is fully operational and there are 34 software solutions in different areas, such as education, health and public administration. Considering only the Federal Government Administration (excluding cities and states), savings in software licenses is estimated to be more than US$ 3,750,000 since 2007. The size of business opportunities created around the software solutions available in the Portal was more than US$ 10,000,000 in 2009, and it is expected that this value added will increase more than 10 times over the next few years.
One hard thing to get across is that idea that while open source closes off certain commercial opportunities, it opens up others.