Court appeals




Access to a licensing agreement and contract terms between the Bulgarian Government and Microsoft

AIP and two MPs v. Minister of State Administration
Court case 9502/2003 of the Supreme Administrative Court

In the summer of 2002 two oppositional MPs have requested several times all available information about the license agreement between The Minister of State Administration, Mr. Kalchev, and Microsoft. The agreement was for providing 30,000 licences for WindowsXP and OfficeXP in Bulgarian for the needs of the Bulgarian administration. The MPs received access to parts of the requested information, without any details on the price, payment, terms, or forfeit conditions.

At the same time an AIP employee filed a similar request, wishing to obtain information, whether a public procurement - a prerequisite under the Public Procurements Act - had preceded the decision to sign the license agreement. In response, Mr. Kalchev explained, that because the vast majority of officials had been using Microsoft products, and Microsoft was the only software company offering WindowsXp and OfficeXP, there had been no need to initiate a procurement procedure. The Minister did not indicate whether possible advantages or disadvantages of using open source software were considered.

On February 19, 2003 the two MPs and AIP filed yet another request, wishing to obtain all available contract information, including the initial offer, annexes, and contracts with the Bulgarian vendor in the form of copies of the original documents.

The Minister failed to reply in the law-provided term, and the tacit refusal was appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria on March 19, 2003. In a subsequent reply from the next day, Mr. Kalchev reproduced some of the requested information, without providing access to copies of the requested documents. Mr. Kalchev concidered that his reply had settled the case and failed to forward the appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

On Sept. 09, 2003 we filed a request to the court to demand the case from the Minister. As a result the court has scheduled the first hearing on case 9502/2003 to be on Feb. 18, 2004.

English Version • Last Update: 22.03.2004 • © 1999 Copyright by Interia & AIP