Ministry of Communication and Information Society asks suspension of Microsoft licenses contract
The Ministry of Communication and Information Society asked the Bucharest Court of Appeal on December 30, 2014 to suspend payments stipulated in a 2013 contract related to the use of Microsoft licenses in several public institutions. Communication Minister Sorin Grindeanu said he asked for suspension of a RON 100 M payment representing the tranches for 2014 and 2015 of the Microsoft licenses addendum. He explained it is not a denunciation of the entire contract, but the ministry discovered some things following an internal investigation that made it ask for the payments’ suspensions. Moreover, Grindeanu said another reason for asking the suspension is that penalties would be paid if the ministry did not make the payments.
Following a 2009 bid, the Ministry of Communication and Information Society committed to pay EUR 90.18 M until 2012 for the use of 163,427 Microsoft licenses in 30 public institutions, several ministries included.
The Romanian authorities have paid USD 105 M for Microsoft licenses between 2005-2009, according to a contract signed in 2004 between the General Secretariat of the Government and Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH Austria, partner of Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited.
In September 2014, the anti-corruption Chief Prosecutor, Codruta Kovesi asked the Romanian Prosecutor General’s approval to prosecute nine ex- Education and Communication ministers on the corruption file regarding Microsoft licenses. Ecaterina Andronescu, Valerian Vreme and Serban Mihailescu lost their parliamentary immunity and are being investigating by the anti-corruption prosecutors in this file. Dan Nica, Daniel Funeriu, Alexandru Athanasiu, Mihai T?n?sescu, Gabriel Sandu ?i Adriana Ticau’s investigation is also in progress.
On the other hand, several influential businessmen Dorin Cocos, Nicolae Dumitru, Gheorghe Stefan and ex-minister Gabriel Sandu have been detained for money laundering and influence peddling in Microsoft file in October last year.