Two days ago, the Council of Government of the Spanish region of Extremadura -- La Junta de Extremadura -- decided to adopt the OpenDocument Format (ODF) as the official format for exchange of information and documents among government officials.
By adopting ODF, Extremadura becomes the first Spanish Administration to not only mandate ODF, but to adopt any standard data format. Wisely, the Extremadura government is giving all agencies one year to complete the transition to full use of ODF (and Linux as well).
The official announcement is here in spanish.
What is driving Extremadura in its move to ODF and open source? Its press release focuses on four factors: (1) perpetural access to public documents; (2) breaking dependency on proprietary formats and vendors; (3) security; and (4) cost.
It should not surprise anyone that Extremadura is leading Spain in the adoption of open standards. Last year, it began a large-scale migration to Linux in its schools and hospitals. Extremadura's regional government has publicly linked the use of open source software to the region's long-term economic and social development.