Asked by MP Philippe Latombe about the free distribution of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace offers within the national education system, the government clarified the situation.
Privacy, security and competition
The “Cloud at the Center” doctrine, which aims to exploit the capacities of dematerialized computing for all administrations, and in particular the school environment, must not be based on the tools of the American giants.
The first reason given is a breach of the GDPR, the personal data of users being on an American cloud, this poses a conflict of sovereignty. The cloud offers in question must also claim the ANSSI’s SecNumCloud security qualification (National Information Systems Security Agency), which is not the case. Finally, the Ministry of National Education specifies that “the public procurement code provides that public procurement contracts are contracts entered into for consideration […] free offers of services are therefore, in principle, excluded from the scope of public procurement“.
The government is fortunately not fooled by the interest of groups like Google or Microsoft in providing this software for free and specifies that it is necessary regulate contracts so as not to create unfair competition in the long term : “for the sake of good administration and insofar as such contracts may have an impact on competition in the long term, public entities will however take care to circumscribe the object of these contracts, to limit their duration and not to grant exclusivity to the economic operator in order to allow other competitors to benefit from the resulting image gains, in particular“.