we have tried openoffice, officelibra etc. However the problem is they aren't 100% compatible, there is always formatting issues, colour issues, and in some instances data just went missing.
in the End, the owner gave in, and purchased office for MAC for all the machines, and also all the pc's. Unless something has massively changed in the last several months i can see this been a great waste of time and money.
With the amount of time it takes to get things done in government as it is, this is only going to slow them down even more.