Massive proprietary software purchases without any invitations to tender - FACIL contests government practices in the Superior Court

    MONTREAL, Aug. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - FACIL, a non-profit association, which
promotes the collective appropriation of Free Software, contests the Quebec
government purchasing methods for software used within public administrations.
FACIL has filed a motion before the Quebec Superior Court in order to bring an
end to these methods which the association believes are not in the best
interest of the Quebec government, but more importantly, not in accordance
with the regulation for supply contracts, construction contracts and service
contracts of government departments and public bodies (R.Q. c. A-6.01,
    In Quebec, access to public markets is the rule while procurement notice
without invitation to tender is the exception. A public market should be
transparent, fair and most importantly, open to all. The solutions as well as
the propositions must be evaluated objectively on known and accepted criteria.
Furthermore, the regulation implies that public markets have to enhance the
local economic development as well as the Quebec technologies.
    From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary
software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for
products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to
suppliers in Quebec. These purchases hurt the Free Software suppliers
throughout Quebec and are an obstacle to the development of Quebec IT
enterprises. FACIL contests these methods as the association believes they are
illegal and unacceptable.
    A strategic Free Software utilization in public administration could
create thousands of jobs as well as a significant decrease in software
licensing costs. However, Quebec's public administration refuses to even
consider and evaluate these options.
    While most of the developed countries have started, a few years back,
migrating their technological infrastructures to Free Software, Quebec's
public administration is far behind. In France, hundreds of thousands of
desktops used by civil servants have been migrated. In the Netherlands, the
public administration, one of the most modern in the world, has decided to
forbid the use of proprietary software in the public sector.
    But here in Quebec, despite numerous initiatives, the public
administration refuses to communicate and to cooperate. FACIL has decided to
bring the matter to court in order for the public market law to be respected.

    PRESS CONFERENCE: Friday, August 29th 2008, 10h30 at 7275, Saint Urbain,
    ----------------  Montreal, office 201.

For further information:

For further information: Mathieu Lutfy, FACIL President, (514) 664-1260;
Source: The Board of Directors of FACIL,,

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