We're saving tax payers' money on Oracle licensing, honest, says Gov.uk

Cabinet Office pens MoU with giant, keeps schtum on details

The Cabinet office has signed a 'memorandum of understanding' with Oracle in a desperate bid to ease the financial burden of its eye-wateringly expensive contracts with the database titan.

The body reckons it will "deliver additional savings" for the taxpayer over the next three years. But when asked by The Register exactly how much it expects to save, a spokeswoman said: "We have nothing further to add to the online article." So much for the transparency drive.

A Memorandum of Understanding acts as a statement of intent, offering no legal obligation between the parties. So given no hard cash savings appear to have been agreed – at least none that will be made public – the MoU may fail to dint the UK.gov £290m spent on licences in 2013.

That said, The Register recently revealed that the Cabinet Office formally contacted central agencies within the last month and asked them to look for ways to “get rid of Oracle".

Many in government have openly expressed their desire to move off Oracle suites. In 2014, then deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse hit out against the ERP giant. "Like most people in government, I’ve been screwed by Oracle,” he told the audience at London Technology Week.

He said the top priority was to “take Oracle down".

Sally Collier, chief executive of the Crown Commercial Service, said: “The enhanced MoU will deliver savings across government and allow easier and more effective procurement of Oracle products and services. It lays the foundation of a more collaborative relationship between government and Oracle.”

So just the one new boat for Larry this year then. ®

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