Red Hat vs. Switzerland:Official Complaint Against 40 Million Swiss Franc Contract

May 25, 2009

In February, the Swiss Federal Office for Construction and Logistics (Bundesamt für Bauten und Logistik, or BBL) sealed a deal with Microsoft for an estimated 35-million-dollars worth of licenses. Red Hat, along with 17 other Open Source enterprises, has filed an official complaint.

The awarding of the contract (worth about 40-million Swiss Francs) came to being without a published request for proposal, and the general public was made aware of the contract merely as a result of an official document entitled number 367,121 and through an article in the New Züricher Newspaper (as reported here). The contract is to encompass costs for standard desktop computers in addition to provisions for license and maintenance. The Swiss Construction and Logistics agency allegedly relinquished an official request for proposal because of the conclusion that no alternative to Microsoft products exist.

Red Hat is of a different opinion and referred to various Linux job engagements at Kanton Solothurn in the Zürich City Council and at various other state institutions that already employ Red Hat in an official press release. For this reason, Red Hat and 17 other enterprises have filed a suit against the Federal Office for Construction and Logistics with the federal administrative court to protest this unfair favoring of the closed-source enterprise, which in the process hinders open competition among software source code companies.

Related content

  • Swiss Court Stops Microsoft Contract

    The complaint from 18 open source service providers against the contract deal between Microsoft and the Swiss Federal Office of Construction and Logistics (BBL) has paid off. The Swiss Supreme Court has stopped the deal in its tracks.

  • Public Call for Tender Requested: Swiss Group Challenges Microsoft Contracts

    The Swiss Federal Office for Construction and Logistics (Bundesamt für Bauten und Logistik, or BBL) is reported as having purchased Microsoft licenses in the order of 42 million Swiss francs (about $38 million). Because no public bids were tendered, open source organizations are now requesting a review of the decision.


  • taxpayers money

    So what happened under the table? This smells of corruption and shady back-room dealings. Hopefully justice, fairness, and sanity will prevail.
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