German city of Dortmund switches to open source software as much as possible

The city council of the German city of Dortmund will switch to open source software as much as possible in the future. Moreover, from now on she will have to prove why open source software is unsuitable if she chooses alternatives.

This move is stated in the German city’s political policy memorandum for the period 2020-2025 and is actively supported by the local citizens’ initiative DO-Foss. The policy note contains two resolutions, one of which should standardize the use of open source software where possible. Following this resolution, the city government will in future also have to explicitly prove why open source software would be unsuitable if it prefers alternatives.

The second adopted resolution states that the open source software developed will also be made available to the public. With this last measure, the city council of Dortmund wants to ensure that the used public money also flows back to the community. This is a principle that is in line with the Public Money, Public Code campaign of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

Both resolutions from the policy paper were voted on on 11 February this year and were adopted. They were published on March 31, 2021. Dortmund is not the only city in Europe that sees potential in the use of open source software. In 2018, the Spanish city of Barcelona announced that it would switch to open source software. In 2003, the German Municipality of Munich decided to migrate the workplaces of municipal officials to open source software. That became one of the largest projects worldwide to equip desktop systems with Linux. The Munich city council pulled the plug on the project in 2017, but the new city council returned to it in 2020. It wants to reintroduce the use of open source software.

Update, 19h50 and 22h15: Adjustment made to the article regarding open source alternatives and corrected the state of affairs in Munich. Thanks to Murfy and dmantione.