The total amount spent on IT software licences by my Department in 2003 was €4,365,503.53, of which €468,410.00 was spent on products from the named company. This is the overall total for expenditure on new licences, software version upgrades and annual maintenance and support.
The product referred to is currently used in my Department to facilitate data transfer to and from an external partner. It is also used in a number of test areas. Other open-source products have been used where appropriate to enhance application functionality. Another open-source product is incorporated into the applications server software package that underpins the Department's new online business applications.
My Department's procurement approach facilitates open competition, best value for money and best fit to the requirements. Evaluation of tenders received by my Department takes account of these factors. If a tender is based partly or fully on open-source software, it is evaluated in the same way. However, the use of open-source software does not always lead to cost savings. My Department continues to monitor the emerging IT industry standards including opportunities arising from open-source arrangements.