Govt denies appointing Microsoft as official supplier

Jakarta (Antara News) - Communication and Information Minister Sofyan Djalil denied on Tuesday that his office has appointed US software maker Microsoft as an official supplier of software to government agencies.

"We have not called a tender, but only signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) (with Microsoft). We have yet to make a purchasing deal. Once we have arrived at such a deal, of cource we have to pay (for what is bought," Djalil said after a meeting at the Finance Ministry to coordinate the government`s evaluation of the economy in 2006.

He said his office would make an inventory of the government`s software needs along with the Central Body of Statistics (BPS) only early next year.

"We have set aside the budget for the software purchase, and we will conduct an audit on how many computers the government is using, how many use Microsoft software, or how many of them use it free of charge," he said.

He affirmed that the government must use legal software such as Microsoft product.

"We have to uphold intellectual property rights and not use pirated products," he added.

Meanwhile, National Development Planning Minister Paskah Suzetta said, if the government planned to choose Microsoft as supplier of software to all state agencies, it must call a tender in accordance with Presidential Regulation No.8 of 2006 on Procurement of Public Goods and Services.

Suzetta also said the MoU signed by the Communication and Information Ministry and Microsoft did not yet mean that the US company had been appointed as a supplier of software to state agencies.

"The MoU only means there will be cooperation. Whether or not we will use it must be determined through a process based on Presidential Regulation No. 8 of 2006. The holding of a tender is a must. The use of state budget funds must accord with the prevailing regulation," he said.

Regarding the listing of the government`s software needs next year, nment agencies, BPS Chief Rusman Heriawan said it was designed to determine the extent of the use of legal software in government offices and their application in Information Technology and Communication. (*)
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