New Study: Public Sector Breaches EU Directives when Procuring Software
By user804106 on Oct 22, 2008
This is mind-boggling stuff. Public sector officials across Europe regularly breach EU Directives by mentioning brand names like “Microsoft” that are in fact trademarks in procurement documents, according to a study (press release, full study) by the not-for-profit organization Openforum Europe. Shame on them!
Strasbourg 22 October 2008 - OFE has monitored public procurement notices for computer software published on Tenders Electronic Daily. 136 contact notices were scanned for trademarks in the period from February 1 to April 25, 2008. OFE's monitoring exercise shows that in 34 tender notices out of 136 (25 percent), company brand names were mentioned in procurement documents effectively preventing competition from alternative products. In 17 cases (12.5 percent), tender notices mentioned Microsoft or one of Microsoft’s products.
How can this happen? Are they swayed by the software logos they look into every morning when they switch on their PCs? Do they prefer particular software brands? Are they completely unaware that this is an unfair practice?
Graham Taylor, Chief Executive of OFE commented in the press release:
Frankly we were shocked at the likely extent of the problem. Public authorities not only stand accused of wasting potentially billions by inefficient purchasing, but also locking their users and citizens into today's solutions, and being unable to take advantage of new innovation in the future
I would like readers to comment on this study. What should be done about this malpractice? Surely, European consumers, governments and industry deserve better. The best software solution should win, not the one with the best brand recognition! Am I right?