EU Commission enters talks with Microsoft for new licenses II

“Is Europe’s administration really so locked in by proprietary software that the Commission cannot follow its own rules and recommendations? Such a decision by the Commission would make us wonder if the Digital Agenda and the European Interoperability Framework are worth the paper they’re printed on. Such a move would also be hard to square with European procurement rules, let alone best practices. The Commission may or may not be able to get away with this. But it would be setting a terrible example for Europe’s public sector, and would wilfully squander a lot of hard-won reputational capital,” said Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

 

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“Although we haven’t seen an official statement from the Commission about this yet it does look as though they are pushing ahead with a migration of staff to the Windows 7 platform without holding a public tender for the contract, and without considering alternative solutions. As we have already pointed out, this decision would appear to contradict the IT policy goals laid down in the Commission’s Digital Agenda and it also would appear to run counter to the Commission’s efforts to make procurement processes in Europe more transparent and fairer,” said Graham Taylor, chief executive of Openforum Europe.

“In tandem with negotiations on the licenses, the Commission will also seek to renew its services contracts,” explained Gravili. “The current agreement includes a baseline service agreement for all the institutions, but larger institutions such as the Parliament and the Commission have a services contract to help manage any issues that require a deep knowledge of the software at code level. As recently as last week when we came under cyberattack, we made use of Microsoft experts, who worked alongside our own,” he added.

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