Former interim GM of Microsoft Romania examined by the National Anti-corruption Office

Newsroom 15/07/2014 | 14:59

Sorin Eftene, former interim general manager of Microsoft Romania, was called to testify today by the prosecutors of the National Anti-corruption Office (DNA) in the file regarding the lease of Microsoft IT licenses for schools.

An in rem investigation (ed. note: the jurisdiction in rem assumes the property or status is the primary object of the action, rather than personal liabilities) is being conducted by the prosecutors under suspicion of peddling and bribery.

While Eftene did not make any press statements, the media reports he was cited to give statements in the file regarding the lease and extension of IT licenses for schools, for which approximately EUR 9 million were paid.

The head of the Government’s General Secretariat, Ion Moraru, was also called to give statements as a witness and also left some documents regarding the licenses.

The DNA announced on July 10 that the prosecutors are looking into the way the licenses were leased, following a notification received from the prime-minister’s control body on May 21, 2013.

“The notification concerned the lease and extension of educational licenses by the Ministry for Information Society and the Ministry of National Education, which, contrary to the stipulations of agreement nr. 32/12.08.2009, and contrary to government decision nr. 460/2009, have signed contracts for providing products, and there are clues that approximately EUR 9 million, meant for education units, were paid,” according to the DNA.

The investigation is looking into the lease of 179,259 licenses for ProDesktop packages and 6,828 licenses for Windows Server operating systems, taking into account all the work stations and servers acquired between 2001-2008 via the programs IT Educational System (SEI) 1 – SEI 5 and the rural program.

The investigation is also looking at the contract based on which the Ministry for Information Society agreed to pay the price for the total number of licenses, which included 72,990 more licenses than could be used in the educational system, compared to the number of computers compatible with the new software products. There are clues pointing to the fact that the final price was approximately EUR 5.4 million higher than the price that had to be paid for the licenses that could actually be used. The contract in value of USD 105 million was carried out between 2004-2009.

The prosecutors are also investigating whether government decision 460/2009 allowed to sign a later contract regarding the supplementation of the number of licenses for schools, the acquisition of licenses for packages of the type ProDesktop and Windows Server operating systems for education units according to their license needs, identifying the people involved and the way in which they checked the suitability of the software products.
According to legal sources, the DNA prosecutors are looking at three contracts regarding the IT licenses, carried out during 2001 and 2013.

One is a Microsoft License Lease Contract of the type Enterprise Agreement Subscription, signed between the Romanian government and Microsoft Ireland via Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) Austria GesmbH, worth USD 105 million, carried out between 2004-2009.

The second is a Microsoft License Lease Contract of the type Enterprise Agreement Subscription signed between the Ministry for Information Society and the D-CON.NET consortium. The contract worth EUR 96 million was carried out between 2009-2013.

The third is the contract regarding the IT Educational System, signed between Siveco and the Ministry of Education for EUR 124 million.

In May 2013, the government announced that it would notify DNA regarding the alleged involvement of former ministers Daniel Funeriu and Valerian Vreme, who promoted a bill for the acquisition of educational software based on which EUR 8 million were paid without coverage, which was EUR 5 million above the real price.

Otilia Haraga

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