Letter to Tony Ryall and the Auditor General - a G2009 Update

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In the past few weeks the NZOSS has written to two ministers and the Auditor General regarding the G2009 negotiations and how Government in general effectively deals exclusively with Microsoft for certain technologies.

Minister Steven Joyce's office told us to direct our communications to Minister Tony Ryall, the Minister for the State Services Commission. SSC is the central Government agency who lead the negotiations with Microsoft that collapsed recently.

The core of our complaint to the Auditor General is expressed in the following statement:

[The NZOSS] urgently seek your scrutiny of individual agency procurement of desktop and office software support services following the collapse of the G2009 All of Government Microsoft Agreement.

The Society seeks this review on the grounds that agencies are:

1.negotiating with a single supplier in a situation where ordinary market disciplines do not operate;
2.unable to establish the products and services being procured represent value for money;
3.failing to properly consider viable alternative products and services that meet their functional needs; and
4.perpetuating a situation in which proper public administration is at risk through reliance on a single overseas software manufacturer.

Some of the points about the deal are covered in an interview I gave Radio NZ last week. These link (ogg and MP3) also include a reply from Kevin Akchurst, GM of Microsoft NZ.

Ogg version of the Nine to Noon interview

MP3 version of the same

We will keep this website updated when we hear from the Auditor General and Tony Ryall.

Now seems like a good time to clarify and promote the message that open source is good for the NZ government, for taxpayers, and for local IT businesses. Is there some sort of campaign that others can participate in? How can we give this a big push while things are open to change?

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