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Government Microsoft

Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over Microsoft Licenses 69

"A former minister and three others have been handed jail sentences for corruption in Romania in a case linked to Microsoft software licenses," reports Balkan Insight. Prosecutors said the officials had embezzled the entire 47% discount Microsoft offered the Romanian government in a five-year, $105 million contract to supply schools and other public institutions with Microsoft Office licenses. Jail terms up to three years were also handed to a former mayor and two other businessmen who acted as middlemen, and the four defendants were also fined almost 10 million euros. While the court's sentence is not final, "prosecutors said there was manifest corruption in the contract," the article reports, with the officials admitting to the charges in exchange for a one-third reduction in their jail sentences.
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Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over Microsoft Licenses

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  • Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:04PM (#51788279) Homepage Journal

    Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over embezzlement.

    • Woof! Talk about *the assassin accusing the assassin*!

    • He'll probably write a couple of books [theguardian.com] in the months to come.

    • Re:Correction (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:43PM (#51788531)

      Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over embezzlement.

      Yeah, but they had to throw Microsoft in the title because this is /. after all. Microsoft discounts are immaterial to this case, but it helps it get posted here. These guys stole money by committing fraud. I'm sure they tried to hide their tracks in a number of different ways before finding this latest trick that got them caught.

      • Re:Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:47PM (#51788551) Homepage
        I believe the MS part is significant for transparency as a 47% discount means their catalogue price is fully unrealistic and others should be able to follow up.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          For "Enterprise" software the list price means nothing, normal "discounts" are huge (50-75%).

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        That kind of embezzlement doesn't just happen by accident. Someone plotted and planned and made it accessible and that someone would have been the M$ sales reps, not to blame M$ America but certainly their local reps were in it collecting the sales commissions and bonuses, right up to their necks. So interesting to see suspicions confirmed about why M$ has been able to survive so long against FOSS. Not that M$ international is playing but local branches up to all sorts of shenanigans to pump up commissions

      • Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over embezzlement.

        Yeah, but they had to throw Microsoft in the title because this is /. after all. Microsoft discounts are immaterial to this case, but it helps it get posted here. These guys stole money by committing fraud. I'm sure they tried to hide their tracks in a number of different ways before finding this latest trick that got them caught.

        The prosecutors said there was much corruption in the contract. That would be the contract that Microsoft was party to, would it not? As such, naming Microsoft would be appropriate.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > Correction: Romania Jails Ex-Minister Over embezzlement.

      And what do you think that lower TCO for proprietary software was about?

      "Be dumb because it's cheaper in the short term." Duh! Just buying that kind of talk is indicative of less transparency -- at least.

      Having worked at an M$ shop, I can assure there are reasons to buy Microsoft: because they create so many incompatibilities that shills start to say "it's a Microsoft network". There's no such standard, but given enough "tweakings" you can transmu

      • I'm surprised, really, that those of you who support open source so strongly often default to Libre Office so swiftly as a quintessential example of how open source is so much better. Here's a tip: it just makes you sound ignorant and biased, not educated and thoughtful. So does using "M$" instead of MS.

        Libre Office isn't better than MS Office, so it's a pretty bad example. And no, I won't accept your supposed arguments why it's not, because that's just an idiotic bias talking.

        There are many excellent examp

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          There are many excellent examples of open source software that are superior to what MS offers. Like Firefox!

          +1 Funny

  • Isn't it how IT industry sales de facto work, - including kick-backs into contracts?
    • Kickbacks are supposed to go to the client entity, not to the employee. ;)

      The part where you said "into contracts." Different than, "into some guy's back pocket."

  • There is a suck joke in here some where.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:39PM (#51788515)

    LibreOffice would have enabled him to embezzle all $105 million. ;)

  • Chinese official goaled for NOT pirating microsoft software.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    With the two large contracts I negotiated, they kept trying to sweeten the deal. If it wasn't for kickbacks, Microsoft would probably lose half of their large deals.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My old boss was busted for accepting $50k to switch our state department to SharePoint. We wasted a ton of money and couldn't even get it to version files correctly.

    • This. Ever wonder why Microsoft has such a high penetration into state and local governments?

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday March 27, 2016 @03:50PM (#51788573) Homepage
    First I wanted to post this as AC but then decided one day I need to come clean anyway.

    I installed Kubuntu including Libreoffice on the missus computer and never told her I took the 100% discount...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I once installed Ubuntu on my GF's laptop.

      She booted it and gave me a puzzled look, "You-bunt-oo?"

      I shrugged, "That's Swahili for Windows".

      She beamed with joy, "Oh! I heard about this. It's, like, an expensive version where some money also goes to Africa!? You're such a nice guy."

      She still proudly uses the "Windows of the Developing World", and I keep reaping the benefits of her "upgrade" for myself -- I never had the heart to tell her it cost me nothing and her misunderstanding was over a bad joke.

      Captc

  • It should be illegal for governments to use proprietary software in the first place. Do as you wish as an individual, or a private enterprise, but public data cannot be subjected to vendor lock-in. And as governments are supposed to serve the public good (wishful thinking much?), they should promote the development of Free software.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      public data cannot be subjected to vendor lock-in

      A big problem is that big app vendors (SAP, IBM, etc) require either Oracle or SQL Server for the database layer. Many large organizations go with Oracle because it runs on UNIX. There's just no way to walk away from that lock-in.

      Of course there's always going to be some dude coming up and saying, we could rewrite SAP Financials using PHP and drupal modules (or RoR or whatever), but that's even scarier than being in bed with Oracle.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Totally agree. Here in my state it was big news about 10 years ago that the state government had done a 100 million dollar deal with Microsoft to put Microsoft software in to all the public schools. I thought Microsoft should have paid the state 100 million dollars to be allowed to push their shit onto our children.
      Anyway, I had been wondering who the morons were who agreed to that deal, and true story, I was talking to my brother-in-law's sister after just meeting her and she told me all about how she had

      • Damn. I wouldn't resist asking how much she got under the table. And if she got offended and claimed there's no bribe, I'd laugh, roll my eyes, and say sarcastically: "Suuuuuure, I totally believe you've made such a retarded deal with notorious crooks without taking some dead presidents for yourself. Come on now, how much?"

    • How about hardware? Or cubicles? Or cleaning equipment? Or weapons? Or buildings? Or..?
    • It should be illegal for governments to use proprietary software in the first place.

      The National Weather Service still uses Flash to loop radar sweeps! What the Serious Fuck?

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