A fifteen-point checklist to help public administrations to procure open source software solutions and services was published in August by Swiss open source procurement experts. The list helps to determine which procurement specifications take this type of software into account, and which criteria exclude open source.
The initial questions on the list deal with the organisation’s understanding of open source. Public administrations need only to procure contracts for services around open source, explains the SIK working group. They point to the OSS Directory and Alternativo, making it easy to find open source alternatives for proprietary solutions.
The checklist next focusses on criteria that exclude free and open source, including direct requests for proprietary brands and products. The list ends with suggestions to require open source licences for offered software solutions, or award providers with proven open source experience.
In Bern, conference host Matthias Stürmer, who heads the Research Center for Digital Sustainability at University of Bern, presented the preliminary results of a survey carried out by the country’s procurement organisation SIMAP, showing that 43% of all Swiss government ICT contracts are signed without public tender. For non-ICT related contracts, the number is just 15%.