[LINK] Microsoft controlling Govt 2.0 funds

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri Oct 2 12:46:38 AEST 2009

Microsoft controlling Govt 2.0 funds
By Chris Duckett
01 October 2009 05:33 PM

The Government 2.0 Taskforce yesterday released a draft contract for 
those receiving money from its Project Fund, which revealed that any 
funding contracts will be between successful bidders and Microsoft, not 
the Commonwealth.

The Project Fund was used by the Taskforce to fund initiatives that will 
provide input into its final report and building up government agency 
"web 2.0 capabilities". The Taskforce has already asked for two rounds 
of project submissions.

Yet the government has only now revealed that the funding arrangements 
must be made via Microsoft. It needed to be so because the taskforce was 
not a legal entity and money was pulled from the Project Fund, according 
to the government — a partnership with Microsoft that used funds from a 
special Service Provision Fund.

The Taskforce has said on its website that despite Microsoft managing 
the purse strings of the Project Fund, it will not have a part deciding 
which projects are funded. However, the blog post where the announcement 
about the contracts was made yesterday has drawn considerable 
discussion, particularly on the issue of intellectual property (IP).

Microsoft Australia's head of government and industry affairs, Simon 
Edwards, looked to quiet some of the IP concerns by posting in 
Microsoft's Australian Government Affairs blog. "If a contractor creates 
IP it will have agreed (in its contract with Microsoft) to assign or 
licence that IP to the Commonwealth. Microsoft does not share the IP. 
Microsoft does not own the IP. Microsoft has no rights to the IP," 
Edwards wrote.

Concerns were also expressed over clauses of the contract draft which 
may allow Microsoft to replace an employee with an employee approved by 
Microsoft, or require employees to undertake compulsory training.

Edwards said that Microsoft was happy to look at suggestions to the 
contract as long as Microsoft's integrity and risk exposure was maintained.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

More information about the Link mailing list