The European Commission has launched a consultation on expanding the use of electronic procurement in the internal market: European Commission acts to expand the use of e-procurement in the EU (18 October 2010, press release IP/10/1347; in English, French and German).
According to internal market and services commissioner Michel Barnier, the use of information and communication technology in public procurement increases the speed and efficiency of public purchasing while significantly cutting the costs when participating in tenders.
As often, the Commission offers background information in the form of FAQs: Frequently asked questions: e-Procurement (18 October 2010, MEMO/10/499; only in English).
The Public procurement main page of the Commission offers thematic links to various aspects of public purchasing in the internal market; also in French Marchés publics and in German Öffentliches Auftragswesen.
The Commission is offering access to its e-CERTIS database which provides an on-line storehouse of the documents which are most frequently requested in the 27 Member States (for example, evidence of compliance with fiscal obligations or social security obligations or evidence of economic and financial standing). It allows users to identify such documents and match them with their local equivalent. The use of e-CERTIS helps business operators to reduce costs and uncertainty due to the lack of knowledge about the different certificates requested by the various national contracting authorities:
You can access the e-CERTIS webpage here. The User Guide is in English, but a brochure is available in 21 languages.
Consultation web page
The e-procurement consultation runs until 31 January 2011, and from the consultation web page you can access the Green Paper in 22 official EU languages. Here is a link to the English version:
Green Paper on expanding the use of e-Procurement in the EU; Brussels, 18.10.2010 COM(2010) 571 final (23 pages)
The consultation document is accompanied by the staff working document SEC(2010) 1214. On the consultation page it goes under the name of Evaluation Report and it can be accessed here (162 pages).
The COM and SEC documents have not yet been posted on Eur-Lex under Preparatory acts.
Even if the consultation is open to all citizens and organisations, the Commission expects contributions particularly from member states, large procurement agencies and contracting authorities, the ICT industry, procurement specialists in the private and public sector and representatives of business trade associations.
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