Had a letter from the European Commission this morning concerning the
message that you can see below.
I wrote to <(a)cec.eu.int> in Brussels to ask about why it wasn't
necessary for the NHS to conform to Euro Law. The letter which was a
reply to my request arrived today. They explain that they wrote to
"The United Kingdom authorities". The answer that came back from the
UK auth suggests that I am in fact completely in the wrong about
raising questions about why the NHS is spending massive amounts of
money in propieratery software. I am almost being told by a civil
servant or a legal adviser to the UK Government that I am not allowed
to question the spending of tax payers money on procurement of
unnecessary software. Almost but not quite. Since the NHS didn't
bother to advertise the fact that they were purchasing the software
in the appropriate EU journal then they are in breech of EU law and
have in fact broken their own and EU regulations.
To quote some of the latter parts of the two page letter from the EU
Internal Market DG...
Award of contract by Department of Health to Microsoft Limited - The
The UK authorities have explained that when purchases are made by NHS
bodies of Microsoft software governed by the Enterprise Agreement
licencing arrangements, these would be made through the G-CAT 2
framework agreement. Under the G-CAT 2 framework agreement, there
are five resellers offering Microsoft products, as well as those of
other manufacturers, who are also authorised as resellers under the
Enterprise Agreement. The United Kingdom authorities have confirmed
that the G-CAT 2 framework agreement was completed in accordance with
Directive 93/36/EEC on the award of public supply contracts. On the
basis of information available, the procurement of Microsofts
products would therefore appear to be in conformity with Community
public procurement law. The UK authorities have confirmed that these
was no call for competition in respect of the Enterprise Agreement.
However since this agreement simply covers the manufacturer's licence
to use goods in circumstances where the procurement of those goods
takes place pursuant to a properly advertised and lawful framework
agreement, there does not appear to be any infringement of Community
public procurement law. For the above reasons, the Commission
services will propose to close this file unless you are able to
provide new substantive information within one month from the date of
this letter - 06.09.02"
So, what has happened is that a large amount of tax payers money
which could have paid for the training of a large number of doctors
and nurses has been rubber stamped into a private individuals back
pocket. When a private individual like myself has raised a question
over this I have been covered up by my own legal people and
Government officers without me asking them to do it to me. The fact
is - whether I am able to provide proof or not - that the NHS did not
bother to advertise in the appropriate EU journal in the way that
they are supposed to when a contract is put out to buy in new
software. As such they have broken EU law. I am being told to shut
up and go away by Whitehall.
Previous correspondence on this issue shown below...
On Monday 10 December 2001 09:34, Alan Harris wrote:
thought this might be of interest to some of you :-
Subject: Microsoft and the British
Government - Possible
Anti-Competitive Behaviour Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001
I write regarding the current negotiations between the British
Government and Microsoft in which, to date, Microsoft have been
awarded a contract to supply the National Health Service with
some 60 Million (£)'s worth of software licenses.
I would be grateful if you could inform me of the current state
of the anti-competition investigation being undertaken by the EU
against Microsoft, as it appears that more such deals (like that
for the NHS) are in the pipeline. As the commissioner with
responsibility for the Information Society I am sure that you are
well aware of the potential for damage being created by such
Subject: RE: Microsoft and the British
Possible Anti-Competit ive Behaviour Date: Sun, 9 Dec
2001 14:08:31 +0100
Dear. Mr. Harris,
I pass your letter to my colleague Mario Monti and his cabinet.
He is responsible for this issue.
But still, during investigation I don't believe much more can be
said what has been in public.
with best regards
Mr. Erkki Liikanen
Member of the Commission
There may be hope for all of us then?
Tel : 01554 750661
Fax : 01554 758255
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