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Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Government Departments have signed contracts with Microsoft; how much each contract is worth; how long each contract agreement is for; how many of the contracts require the signing of a non-disclosure agreement regarding the source code of programmes installed; and how much it would cost to terminate each of the contracts before the completion date. [116657]

Most Departments license some desktop software from Microsoft. In February 2002, the Office of Government Commerce entered into an agreement with Microsoft under which Microsoft software was offered to Government departments at discounts reflecting the overall level of Government purchasing. The details of individual contracts between Microsoft and departments are not held centrally. However the total value of spend by departments through the central GCAT contract amounted to £29.2 million in 2002–03.Most purchasing of Microsoft software is by outright purchase of perpetual licenses, with payment sometimes phased over a three year period. Disclosure of Microsoft source code is not a standard feature of these agreements.