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Software Use Procedures


These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Software Use Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to all employees and contractors employed by the Department.

3. Procedures

3.1 Record keeping and management

Line managers and principals must maintain within a formal record keeping system a software licence register that retains as a minimum:

  • the number of software licences purchased;
  • the number of licences currently installed or being used;
  • all receipts, invoices and payment approvals as proof of purchase;
  • a copy of or reference to the software licence terms and conditions;
  • all software licence keys, serial numbers and activation codes; and
  • the end date of the licence agreement where applicable.


The line manager or principal should assign responsibility for management, maintenance and stocktake (bi-yearly) of the software licence register to an officer within the workplace.

Licence details of centrally procured and managed software (e.g. Microsoft Office) are not required to be kept at Schools and external offices.

3.2 Procurement and registration

Employees involved in the procurement of any software must:

  • read and understand the terms and conditions of a software licence agreement to verify that the software is fit for purpose and that licensing conditions can be met prior to software acquisition;
  • provide the software licence details to the officer responsible for maintaining the software licence register;
  • communicate the terms and conditions of the licence to the line manager for distribution to the relevant personnel that will use the software; and
  • register the software as being owned by the Department. 


Software includes any software believed to be shareware, freeware and software as an online service.

The terms and conditions of a software licence agreement may place restrictions on the use of the software.

3.3 Storage and access

Line managers and principals must:

  • store software licences, activation keys, serial numbers and media in a secure location to provide protection from unauthorised use, loss or damage; and
  • control access to the software licence, software licence keys and installation media through a documented process.

3.4 Installation and use

Line managers and principals must confirm that the terms and conditions of licences acquired for use by the Department are available to employees, contractors and volunteers before they use the software.

Employees must:

  • only use software in line with the licence terms and conditions; and
  • not copy software unless explicitly permitted in the terms and conditions of the software licence.


The same requirements apply to software downloaded from the internet or software as a service regardless of whether a licence fee is payable.

Installation of the software should be controlled so that each installation can be recorded in the software licence register.

The unauthorised use or illegal copying of computer software is a serious crime and the penalties can be harsh, including imprisonment.  It is important that individuals in the workplace comply with the licence provisions of the software they use.

It should be noted that software licences purchased by the Department are not to be installed on personally owned devices(POD) of; employees of the Department or any other agency or entity, contractors, volunteers,or parents.

3.5 Transferring and disposal

Line managers and principals must:

  • if the licence is to be transferred, make the arrangements to have the software uninstalled and the licence papers transferred to the new owner along with any media (CDs, manuals); and
  • dispose any resident software in accordance with relevant licensing requirements when disposing of obsolete hardware.


There are many reasons why a software licence will no longer be used. These include a later version of the software being purchased, the product going end of life from the manufacturer, the product no longer working on the current operating environment or the licence simply expiring. When a software licence is retired in this manner it is important that the software licence register is updated and access to the product removed.

A workplace can transfer software to another workplace within the Department provided such transfer is allowed within the terms and conditions of the licence.

Both the original owner and the new owner should record and keep details of this transfer in the software licence register.

3.6 Reporting and disclosure

Line managers and principals must:

  • show to authors of software, or their authorised representatives, the records of licences for their software when requested; and
  • provide licensing records on request to agents who have been provided authority to act on behalf of the Department.


Organisations such as the Business Software Association of Australia have the right to examine computers and software purchase records at a workplace on production of a subpoena.

4. Definitions

Is a form of property and legally allows the owner of copyright materials to control how and when these materials are used.

A person employed under the School Education Act 1999 or the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Acquisition of a software licence grants the user permission to use software subject to the defined terms and conditions. 


There are many types of Software Licence Agreements and the mechanism by which the user enters into the agreement can vary depending on the type of licence.

For example, by clicking on the ‘Agree’ button before accessing downloadable software or opening a shrink-wrap package the user is considered to have accepted the legally binding terms and conditions of the agreement.

When you purchase a licence, you are not purchasing the software; you are purchasing the right to use it.

A general term to describe computer programs and includes operating systems; business applications such as databases, spreadsheets and word processing programs; specialist applications for administration, desktop publishing, graphics, accounting, communications, utilities and/or programming languages or development tools.

Software may be available via discs, internet download and websites or as a service.

Encompasses places where employees are, or are likely to be, during the course of their work.  This includes places attended during activities sanctioned by the Department.

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, ICT Operations and Customer Service

Policy contact officer:

Service Level Manager, ICT Operations and Customer Service

T: (08) 9264 5520

7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Procedure version no.
5 July 2016 2.0
Major review undertaken and policy reformatted into policy and procedures. Endorsed by the Director General at Corporate Executive on 27 May 2016.
5 July 2016 1 August 2018 2.1
Minor changes to contact information to reflect organisational changes D18/0336892

8. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFSoftware Use Procedures v2.1

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this procedure.

Supported policy:

Download Policy PDFSoftware Use Policy

Procedure review date

5 July 2019

Procedure last updated

22 August 2018