The national council of Switzerland on 3 May adopted a resolution signalling that electronic governmental services must work on all kinds of computing platforms and should not depend on a single IT vendor. The parliament voted in favour of a motion for improving a software application 'Agate', which must be used by the country's cattle farmers for filing livestock data.
The resolution was tabled in April by Edith Graf-Litscher, MP for the Canton of Thurgau and Co-President of the Parliamentary Group for Digital Sustainability. She argues that the Swiss application erroneously relies on proprietary multimedia software, which makes it impossible for farmers using Linux from running the application.
The MP was approached by a single horse farmer, who could not run the government's software on his Linux PC.
In an interview with the Swiss IT news site Netzwoche, MP Graf-Litscher explains that Agata's vendor dependence seemed a minor topic. Following a thorough analysis, the parliamentarians realised that much more is involved, which is why the motion was approved by 96 votes with 57 votes against.
In a statement published 5 May by /CH/Open, a group representing users of open computing systems, MP Graf-Litscher is quoted criticising the Swiss government for relying too much on proprietary technology. "The federal government relies on a technology that the manufacturer has meanwhile declared obsolete. This is not digital sustainability."
Motion Graf-Litscher Edith: None Discriminatory E-government solutions Swiss farmers
/Ch/Open news item (in German)
Netzwoche news item (in German)