Fixing public procurement: how we'll stop European governments from renewing their Microsoft licences

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Presentation at FOSDEM 2013 on the Free Software Foundation Europe public IT-procurement monitoring activities in Finland

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Fixing public procurement: how we'll stop European governments from renewing their Microsoft licences

  1. 1. 2013-03-02 Brussels, BelgiumFixing public procurement: how well stopEuropean governments from renewingtheir Microsoft licenses Otto Kekäläinen Free Software Foundation Europe – FSFE.org All text and image content in this document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License (unless otherwise specified). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks. Their respective logos and icons are subject to international copyright laws. The use of these therefore is subject to the trademark policy. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 1
  2. 2. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 2
  3. 3. Art. 23(8) of Directive 2004/18/EC“technical specifications shall not refer to aspecific make or source, or a particular process,or to trademarks, patents, types or a specificorigin or production with the effect of favoring oreliminating certain undertakings or certainproducts”.According to the law, such references can onlybe made if justified by the subject-matter of thecontract and always accompanied by theexpression “or equivalent”. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 3
  4. 4. Finnish Procurement Act 44 §http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/2007/20070348#P44 Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 4
  5. 5. Illegal requirement in notice title National procurement notice by the City of Kouvola congregation: “Enterprise Agreement for Microsoft Product Licenses”Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 5
  6. 6. Procurement notice by the City of Helsinki procurement corporation: “Office communication services procurement”Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 6
  7. 7. http://www.openforumeurope.org/openprocurement/latest-news-on-procurement/ofe-procurement-monitoring-report-2012-1st-snapshotOpenForumEurope procurement monitoringreport 2012 1st snapshotThe latest monitoring exercise examined 585invitations to tender by Contracting Authorities(CA) procuring for computer software productsduring the three months from March 1st to May31st 2012. It found that almost 1 in 5 noticesincluded technical specifications with explicitreferences to trademarks. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 7
  8. 8. Issue with procurement law:There is no procurement police,discriminated companies are aloneresponsible for protecting their rights.We as FSFE need to help them! Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 8
  9. 9. Finnish FSFE team to the rescue!http://fsfe.org/fi/ Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 9
  10. 10. Collect annotated database of each an every IT procurement in FinlandDirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 10
  11. 11. Letter of notice demand correction Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 11
  12. 12. Polite letter points out mistake directly tothe official who did it.Includes instructions on how to correct themistake and general advice as six pointsto consider in the future: Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 12
  13. 13. 1) Define the procurement byfunctionalities and standards. Do notrequest specific products or require certainbrands. This allows any vendor to takepart on free market principles. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 13
  14. 14. 2) Procure for long enough periods, eg. 4to 6 years, so that there is enough time toplan and execute a change of vendor.Buying new systems from the old vendorjust because there is not time to migrate isnot an acceptable excuse. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 14
  15. 15. 3) Base price comparison on the entirelife span costs. Specifically include exitcosts that arise at the end of the life span,when the vendor changes. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 15
  16. 16. 4) Make sure that the procured system ismodular and adheres to Open Standards,so that there is always the option tochange the vendor for a module or thatcompletely new modules can be taken intouse and that they can access the existingdata. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 16
  17. 17. 5) Ensure unlimited right to modify thesoftware and have it delivered as sourcecode, so that there is independence fromsingle vendors. The original vendor doesnot have to waive their copyright. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 17
  18. 18. 6) By favoring Free Software (also knowsas "open source") all above mentionedrequirements are easy to fulfill. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 18
  19. 19. Letter also includesa collection of selectedlaws, regulationsand public sectorrecommendationsfrom Finland Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 19
  20. 20. So far:Hundreds of procurement notices read,~25 letters sent.Targeted education,responses and discussion.Some have adjusted their on-goingprocurement but none one has completelyreissued their notice. Many have promisedto do take this issue into account in theirnext procurement. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 20
  21. 21. Responses: ”We complemented an existing system” ”We know there is no other alternative” ”We are a procurement entity, we dont actually do the decision, we just procure for reserve” ”We are so locked-in, we do not have alternatives” ”Requirements of service quality – due to e.g. law – mandate a brand, and availability of support” ”Procurement periods should be max 4 years” ”Law entitles us to deny alternative offers” ”There are many distributors” All excuses – no legally valid reason. If lock-in really exists, then procurement should be done using the direct procurement process. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 21
  22. 22. Next:Publicize illegal cases,increase media attention andtake legal action. Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 22
  23. 23. Support the FSFE! Visit fsfe.org/support with you device now! Goal: replicate process into a pan European effort fsfe.org/support All text and image content in this document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License (unless otherwise specified). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks. Their respective logos and icons are subject to international copyright laws. The use of these therefore is subject to the trademark policy.Dirty tactics against LibreOffice in public administration, and how to overcome them 23

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