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 capacity 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 is a breach of the GDPR, the personal data of users that are on a US cloud, this constitutes a sovereignty conflict. The cloud offerings in question must also require ANSSI’s SecNumCloud security qualification (National Information Systems Security Agency), which is not the case. Finally, the Ministry of Education clarifies that “the Public Procurement Act stipulates 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“.
Fortunately, the government is not fooled by the interest of groups like Google or Microsoft in providing this software for free and states that it is necessary regulate contracts so as not to create unfair competition in the long term : “for the sake of good governance, and to the extent that such contracts may have an impact on competition in the long term, public entities will however take care to delimit the purpose of these contracts, to limit their duration and not to grant exclusivity to the economic operator in particular to allow other competitors to benefit from the resulting image gains“.