Written Answers. - Computer Software.

Nora Owen

Ceist:

120 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has satisfied himself that his Department and all agencies under his auspices are using licensed software only; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15378/98]

In the case of my Department, all software required to meet business needs is purchased centrally by the IT unit in accordance with Government and EU procurement regulations and is fully licensed. In addition, security procedures are in place to ensure that unauthorised or unlicensed software is not installed on my Department's IT networks.

All agencies under the auspices of my Department are bound by Government and EU procurement regulations when using State funds to purchase computer software. The responsibility for ensuring that unlicensed software is not used rests with each individual agency. With regard to primary and second-level schools, the National Centre for Technology in Education, NCTE, which I established recently, has invited all school principals to regional meetings to discuss expenditure of grant aid received under the "Schools IT 2000" programme. The NCTE is drawing the attention of attendees at these meetings to the need to ensure that only licensed software is used in schools.