The capital of Switzerland, Bern, has published its first open source solution. The software, Ki-Tax, is used by the city to manage external childcare subsidies. In addition, the city is introducing open source to all of its schools.
Ki-Tax is published under the GNU Affero General Public License. The source code for the Java application is shared on the city’s GitHub page, including an installation manual (in German) and a code of conduct. The developers are inviting others to contribute to the project.
Ki-Tax is the first software solution made publicly available as open source by the city, says Mattias Stürmer, a member of the city council and a well-known advocate of the use of open source by public services.
Bern is actively promoting open source software. In May, the city council awarded a contract to a group of Swiss IT service providers that will see open source solutions introduced to over 10,000 students in the city’s schools. Schools will start using LibreOffice and other open source tools.
The use of open source in schools is already common in other parts of Switzerland. For instance, some 36,000 students, teachers and staffers at more than 20 schools in Basel use Kolab, an open source email and collaboration suite. In Geneva, schools have been using open source for over a decade.