EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Urgent Need for Transparency in Procurement, Standards-Setting Process

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, OLPC at 9:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Visibility a prerequisite in a war against corruption

It has for long been argued — in several different places in fact — that one of the principal adoption barriers for Free software to face is corruption. The obstacles to clear are not purely technical.

“…one of the principal adoption barriers for Free software to face is corruption.”There are quite a few companies that are wealthy enough to engage in corruption and spread disinformation in order to protect their business legacies. Not a single company is blamed here and the problem is not unique to the technology sector (automobiles, pharmaceuticals and oil companies immediately spring to mind), but that is just the reason why companies like Microsoft simply cannot and absolutely must not be ignored (see this recent comment which contains a set of links about Microsoft’s role in derailing OLPC).

The “anti-Microsoft” label (and its equivalent labels) are frequently used [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] to deter those who look under the surface to discover some of the real sources for interference in Free software procurement and embrace of open standards.

Several days ago we began to mention a series of investigative stories from The Inquirer , which was grilling Newham’s CIO, Richard Steele. He has, for quite some time as a matter of fact, been blamed for betraying the British public (taxpayers) by doing legwork for Microsoft. The Inquirer, which has gotten under his skin, continues to reveal more damaging evidence.

The salutary lesson to draw from our dealings, Richard, is not whether you can trust the press. It is rather a lesson in managing expectations, a process every CIO should know well.

The expectations you invested in your 2004 deal with Microsoft, as enshrined in the memorandum of understanding, were also unrealistic.

To recap, the original MOU said the use of Microsoft software would “improve Common Performance Assessment results and Star Ratings” measured by the Audit Commission.

The analysis presented in the INQUIRER on Friday demonstrated that this expectation had not been met.

When we asked you about this on Friday you told us there was a new MOU. Now you accuse us of twisting your words.

How would you prefer to describe what happened to the original agreement? If it has not been scrapped, perhaps it has been decommissioned, recycled, sold on eBay?

Having been told you had drawn up a second MOU with Microsoft, we were clearly interested to learn what new terms you had agreed in the public interest. You said it was confidential. But the first MOU was deemed fit for publication under FOI rules.

You also said the first MOU was only ever a three year deal. But the document was accepted by a Council vote as part of a 10-year deal.

Now four years since you signed the original agreement it is proper for us to ask how well the public money you are giving Microsoft is spent.

It soon becomes clearer that when a company reached out for validation using a study from a firm with which it's associated, then it’s no better than what Microsoft does. It’s an orgy of money and power where one covers the back of peers in order to ensure affluence and protect a closed circulation of influence, excluding GNU/Linux and Free software in the process. This is very timely, particularly in light of Microsoft’s hijack of panels and standards bodies. A day or so ago Bob Sutor called for immediate change, but did so very politely.

Should we require full disclosure by standards participants?


When people sit around a room debating a standard, should everyone there and those who might be using the standard have the right to

* Know who is financially supporting the people debating or creating the standards technology and documents?
* Review all emails between the participants related to the standard?
* Have public access to the minutes?
* See all drafts of the standards?
* Have the sessions videotaped and streamed out to the general public and web?

ISO in moneyAmong the more recent fiascos that were covered we have the BSI (UK), Kenya, Norway (see photo from the protests below) and even ISO.

Free software rarely fail to meet the needs and demands of the market. It might, on the other hand, fail to fight corruption or play in an equally dirty fashion (fighting fire with fire like the Linux Foundation does).

In this Web site we will continue to strive to expose those who are part of what’s suitably called the “shillcosystem”. If you come across stories that fit this theme, please do share them. The site’s readership has grown significantly in the past week, so a difference is made. The truth is gradually being revealed, so it’s becomes harder to get away with misbehaviour — making it a constructive criticism as opposed to crazed rants.


Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. The EPO's Balkan Express Keeps Chugging Along Despite Predictions of Derailment

    The latest part in the series regarding the reappointment of the two Vice-Presidents, Casado and Topić

  2. Advice to Journalists: Stop Repeating Propaganda of the EPO, a Serial Liar With a Track Record

    The EPO is weaponising its propaganda and pushing hard for media across Europe to repeat this propaganda while severely punishing anyone who 'dares' contradict it

  3. Leaked: Ljiljana Kuterovac Covering Željko Topić's (EPO) Back

    Leaked E-mail from June 2012 regarding Željko Topić, an EPO Vice-President who reportedly faces many criminal charges in Croatia

  4. Leaked: Budget and Finance Committee Outcomes That Jeopardise What's Left of the EPO's Future

    A look at the latest reckless step from the Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (chaired by Battistelli's pet chinchilla), which marginalises yet more oversight or a branch which facilitates patent quality control (thereby concealing the effect of Battistelli's ruinous sausage factory mentality)

  5. Links 27/10/2016: Major Changes in Unity 8, Nextcloud Targets Phones

    Links for the day

  6. 'Balkan Express' Teaser: EPO's Željko Topić, Kuterovac, Campinos, Gurry, Battistelli and the DKPTO (Kongstad)

    Various photos of Topić and Kuterovac. Some more photos with other IP "luminaries" such as Campinos of the EUIPO and Gurry of the WIPO.

  7. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  8. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  9. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  10. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  11. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  12. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  13. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  14. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  15. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  16. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  17. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  18. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  19. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  20. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  21. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  22. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  23. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  24. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  25. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  26. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  27. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  28. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  29. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  30. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts