An anonymous reader points out a CBC report discussing a request from the Canadian government for information about open source software and free proprietary software. Evan Leibovitch, an advocate for open source, says the government's interest was spurred by a desire to reduce expenditures during the recession. "...Leibovitch said he hopes the request will lead to government policies that give 'a level playing field' to vendors of open-source software services, who provide technical and administrative support to companies that use open-source programs. He alleges these service providers currently face barriers when competing with proprietary software vendors in the government procurement process. ... When the government purchases software, it often assumes that it will have to pay for a licence and asks software vendors to bid for the contract, McOrmond said. Vendors of open source software services don't respond to that initial call for tender because they have no licences to sell. But then, the government might ask for a separate round of bids for providing support services for the software, which open-source vendors could provide."