The Ministry of Defence was given permission to spend £7.8m on licenses from Oracle this year.
The deal which required Cabinet Office approval as it exceeded £5m, was granted in early 2015. The note accompanying the ICT department’s exemption data stated;
“The Organisation Wide Licence enables unlimited access to Oracle Database and Internet Application Servicer licences for the MOD to use. Licences covered by the OWL are also provided… to third parties as part of MOD’s contractual obligations.”
The deal follows reports that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is also spending £1.3M on Oracle.
The ‘Shared Services Centre’ of the Cabinet Office is currently flagged as amber-red. Established in 2013 the Centre aims to cut costs across departments, it is now deemed likely to fail.
In August the Cabinet office signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Oracle to ease costs. The attempt to ease the financial burden accompanies rumors that Government departments want to end their reliance on Oracle.
Oracle themselves have been facing criticism over their licenses from various fronts. The Campaign for Clear Licensing for example, has been vocal in it’s calls for reform from Oracle.
Oracle may be responding with a new license, the Perpetual User License Agreement (PULA). The aim being to lower costs and maintain their existing client base.