[Ubuntu-ch] Is the Confederation still giving a preference to Microsoft?

Myriam Schweingruber schweingruber at pharma-traduction.ch
Wed Dec 9 23:21:09 GMT 2009

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 22:31, Simon Schneebeli
<simon.schneebeli at okko.org> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I just read that there was no agreement between the official Swiss
> software buyers and open source organisations:
> http://www.efd.admin.ch/00468/index.html?msg-id=30618&lang=fr
> I was a bit surprised to read that the government "Le service
> d'adjudication a informé les recourants [...] qu'elle doit en
> particulier garantir l'égalité de traitement de tous les soumissionnaires".
> Wow, so why did they not even consider open source solutions? Somehow I
> have the impression that either me or someone else did not fully
> understand what "égalité de traitement" means. Can anyone explain me?

You might have read about the complaint filed by several Swiss firms
offering Free Software solutions because the legal rules were not
respected on the federal level. The "égalité de traitement" argument
is frankly bullshit IMHO, since they made a mistake in the first place
and never ever did public submissions for license purchases as they
should have. But the damage is done and they made the license purchase
and now they try to limit the costs.

Also, it's due to the rather complicated submission process the Swiss
government uses, which scares away nearly all "PME/KMU" who do not
actually have somebody dedicated to spot potential submissions, and
then submit in the appropriate format, and in time. This is all very
time (and money) intensive, so not that easy to realize for potential
interesting firms.

It is also to be noted that the official call for submissions have
very often simply not been made as they should have, but the
"Informatikdienste/Services Informatiques" relied on what they already
had, without the slightest consideration that they might actually look
elsewhere or respect the rules and make public submissions. There has
been public focus recently on another case, since the city (or was it
canton?) of Bern did decide on solutions without even bothering making
a call for public submission. I think Theo Schmid has more insight in
that particular case.

Luckily there is now more public focus on how the tax money is spent
since there is a parliamentary group who keeps their eyes open on such
things. Also groups like ch/open, Wilhelm Tux and the FSFE (sorry for
those I did not list, no wrong intended) try to raise awareness on the
procedures. Keep in mind that keeping ones eyes on this and raise
awareness is also quite some work and the more volunteers give a hand,
the better this can be achieved :)

Hope this answers your question, else you might want to have a look at
the relevant pages on the following websites:


I certainly forgot half of the information here, but I am a bit in a
hurry here and I think both Mathias Stürmer and Theo Schmid will be
delighted to give you more details :)

Regards, Myriam.

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