Taking A Stick To Flouters of EU Procurement Policies

The EU has pretty strongly emphasized that government procurement should not prop up monopoly, yet the practice continues.“Each year 15 per cent of public administrations flout procurement rules by requesting specific brands and trademarks that prevent competition, shows a European study into 12.808 ICT procurement requests published over the past five years. Nearly a quarter of all awarded ICT requests got one single offer, also indicating there is a lack of competition when it comes to government ICT solutions.” The biggest offenders keep asking for M$’s products when they should be asking for competitive tenders for IT. Many requests for proposals are answered by a single supplier, evidence of monopoly, when if the requests were for operating systems or office-suites, there may be many more answers.

The EC has already decided to tighten up its policy.
“EC policy makers recognise that open source reduces their ICT costs, makes possible the modernisation of government services and will strengthen European ICT service providers, Damas said. “Our internal policy is changing, and open source use will be given promoted. When procuring software products, we will consider open source alongside proprietary alternatives, based on value for money. In defined areas, for example Information Systems development distributed externally, we will give open source priority.””

If persuasion and respect for the taxpayers’ money are not enough, it’s time the EU considered some consequences for this abuse. If it’s this bad in the EU, and a large number of requests for products were not even made public, imagine how bad it is in Canada, my country, where the government has only dipped its toe into the pool of FLOSS. It’s time the world stopped giving M$ and “partners” a free ride. The employees of governments are not supposed to be M$’s agents. Employees who flout the rules on M$’s behalf are criminals, not employees upholding their fiduciary responsibilities. If they won’t do that, they should be fired or jailed.

See Report: 15 percent of IT tenders ask for brand instead of solution.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to Taking A Stick To Flouters of EU Procurement Policies

  1. ram says:

    Big accounting firms use perks at private “conferences” instead of the “afterparties” of the IT firms. Same corruption, different style. I suspect both will be having more undercover law enforcement in attendance. Law enforcement tends to lag behind the fashions of modern crime. It takes them a while to recognize the problem, train up, and get people “inside”, but they usually do eventually.

  2. DrLoser says:

    I imagine you noticed the ultimate author of your cite, Robert.

    It’s a Ms Rosa Martelli of the esteemed and very expensive Price Waterhouse consultancy group.

    Now, far be it from me to criticise you for completely missing the real financial parasites on governments, to whit the Big Four, but you might wish to consider the following two comparisons of Cost/Benefit:

    a) Microsoft. You pays X million and you gets Y benefit.
    b) Deloitte, Ernst Young, Price Waterhouse and KPMG. You pays X million and you gets bupkus.

    No, wait, not bupkus. You gets a pretty little 21-page PowerPoint presentation converted to PDF for no obvious FLOSS reason and with nothing worth commenting upon.

    Now, perhaps to you, Robert, this is a case of the Ends justifying the Means.

    But the Means are already coining it to the tune of hundreds of millions of public money wasted on huge accountancy firms. And the Ends are invisible.

    So, which would you prefer?

    a) Linux fights it out with Microsoft on a level playing field? (Probable result: Linux 1-5%) or
    b) Linux fights it out with Microsoft whilst a bunch of worthless bean-counters in the background cream off all the surplus cash? (Probable result: Linux 1-5%).

    It’s a triffically difficult choice, innit?

  3. wolfgang says:

    …illicit narcotics and prostitutes…

    Ach, so eine unglaubliche geschichte!!

    the salesman should be summarily fired for wasting such largesse on such a lead penny as herr ram. perhaps the perks were only available to the government procurement officials wearing identification badges?

  4. ram says:

    You got that right! In ANY government procurement, specifying a sole company is almost always a sure sign of corruption. Having attended a large proprietary software company’s marketing “After Parties” complete with illicit narcotics and prostitutes and observing the number of government procurement officials present, I am quite sure corruption is the name of the game for most government procurements here.

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