The European Commission is launching a consultation it believes will speed up and better facilitate the procurement process.
Taking the form of a green paper, the consultation will seek the views of interested parties on how the EU can help Member States to incorporate "e-procurement" – the use of electronic communication and transaction processing by government institutions and the public sector when buying supplies and services, tendering public works, as well as other information and networking systems, such as electronic data interchange and enterprise resource planning.
Obstacles to takeup
The green paper identifies obstacles to faster takeup of e-procurement, as well as the risks that participation in online procurement present.
In order to help companies cope with the documentation demands encountered when tendering for EU public contracts, the e-CERTIS – a free, web-based data base – has also been unveiled.
The Commission believes the green paper will be of interest to national ministries, large procurement agencies and contracting authorities, providers of technology solutions, procurement specialists in the private and public sector, and representatives of business trade associations.
The phasing in of e-procurement forms part of the e-government agenda, which the Commission believes can fundamentally transform the delivery and performance of public administration.