No price but plenty of help with govt-MS deal

The government believes it's done a good deal with with Microsoft on the G2003 software licensing agreement but won't reveal what it paid on the grounds that it could make it harder to bargain in future.

The government believes it’s done a good deal with with Microsoft on the G2003 software licensing agreement but won’t reveal what it paid on the grounds that it could make it harder to bargain in future.

“Pricing information was discussed in confidence,” says Alison Fleming of the Internal Affairs department, who coordinated the process. “If released it would likely prejudice the supply of similar information in future negotiations, and thus lessen the government’s ability to bargain effectively. Releasing it would also be likely to prejudice Microsoft’s commercial position.”

Fleming notes that working with a multinational company can be difficult, but she says Microsoft New Zealand staff were able to put “a New Zealand view” into a number of clauses that made the contract discussions more meaningful for the government.

“[They] ensured access to overseas Microsoft staff was achieved quite readily when needed,” she says. Microsoft was also pleased with the process, she says.

The agreement, providing three kinds of licence to government agencies, represented a cost saving over the previous agreement, reached in 2000, and was a successful result “as a result of a good process, excellent legal support and the keen desire of both parties to achieve a good deal”.

G2003 makes available enterprise, select and open agreements. The choice of agreement depends on the size and requirements of each individual organisation, Fleming says. Details of such agreements and their application to government business can be viewed here and under the “licensing solutions” menu on that page.

The government’s negotiations involved a cross-agency project team and a separate reference group of agency CIOs. Legal experts were another indispensable element, says Fleming. The agreement was signed in June.

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