A clear majority 36 to 20 councilors and city councilors in the council of the Swiss city of Bern has voted for a switch to free and open source IT solutions. It instructs the city's IT department to make future IT purchases platform and vendor neutral and to prefer using open source solutions. This way, the council wants to rid the city of IT vendor lock-in.
One year ago, the city council adopted a motion for Bern to develop an open source strategy. The council now takes a further step, asking for an IT strategy that increases the use of open source and aims to achieve long-term cost savings. The core elements of this motion are.
- All future IT solutions will be independent from underlying operating systems and browsers. And when procuring new solutions, the city is to announce that, when equivalent, it will choose open source over proprietary software. All software developed for the city administration will by default be made available as open source. The IT department is also told to start actively switching existing IT solutions to open source.
- Active implementation of the open source to acquire know-how and get familiar with open source. Pilot projects and studies should point out where a switch to open source is possible
- To build links with national and international networks of public administrations using open source.
- Use open source in education by promoting the use of open source tools in schools and train teachers and provide them with information and training materials on open source software.