State will pay penalties if it fails to pay for the Microsoft licenses

Newsroom 15/12/2014 | 17:46

If the Romanian state fails to pay the RON 50 million (EUR 11.6 million) sum which is due for the Microsoft licenses, it must start paying penalties of 0.1 percent per day, according to Sorin Grindeanu, the proposed Minister for Communications, who was validated today in this position by the expert commissions in the Romanian Parliament.

The end-October 2014 was the payment deadline, according to an additional contract signed last year. The first installment of the contract was already paid.

The acquisition of the Microsoft licenses is under the scrutiny of the Control Body of the ministry, but the report is not yet complete.

“I do not wish to burden the budget with 0.1 percent penalties per day, which will start to pour at the beginning of next year, as far as I know, but I wish to be fair. I am surprised that I was not asked by the parliamentary commissions about Microsoft, it is a delicate period as far as this matter is concerned,” said Grindeanu, who was validated by the parliamentary commissions for the Communications portfolio.

While the government should have wired the RON 50 million to Unicredit Tiriac Bank, this did not happen for two reasons. First, former Minister for Information Society, Razvan Cotovelea, said he required the anti-corruption authorities to expand investigations in the case of the Microsoft licenses, in order not to cause further damages. Furthermore, an internal investigation was started to check whether the contractual terms were respected in the case of the additional document signed in 2013 (to the agreement which dates from 2004).

Microsoft is under scrutiny in a high-profile investigation involving a series of officials in the Romanian administration.

Otilia Haraga

 

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