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European Commission - Press release
Commission moves to support take-up of
Brussels, 29 July 2011 - E-procurement, the use of electronic communications and transaction processing by governments and other public sector organisations when buying supplies and services or tendering public works, can deliver significant savings to European taxpayers. The European Commission is therefore announcing a series of measures to boost the take-up of e-procurement in the EU.
Firstly, the Commission is issuing a call for applications for participation in a new, informal expert group on e-tendering. Secondly, it is starting to monitor the use of e-procurement across Member States, in order to promote best practices. Thirdly, it is publishing the responses to the e-procurement Green Paper (IP/10/1347) which reveal considerable support for making the use of e-procurement compulsory in the EU.
The aim of these measures is to help Member States to accelerate the switchover to e-procurement, and to enable suppliers to take part in online procurement procedures across the single market.
E-procurement implies more than just changing from paper-based procurement systems to ones using electronic communications. It has the potential to streamline and accelerate public purchasing, benefiting both purchasers and suppliers – and the European taxpayer along the way. It will lead to more efficient procurement administration, resulting in cost and time savings.
Commissioner Barnier said: "E-procurement is the future of public procurement. It delivers better procurement outcomes, reduces waste and error, and helps public purchasers to manage complex transactions. In 5-10 years time, most public procurement administration will be electronic. We have to start preparing for that change now. At EU level, we have to ensure that the legal and policy environment supports the switchover. The ground-work that I am launching today is another important step towards harnessing the power of new technology for better procurement"
Budgetary constraints mean that efficient public purchasing is moving up the policy agenda in all Member States. Reforms to existing rules to create more flexible and user-friendly tools, reduce costs and the duration of contracting procedures will ensure the efficient use of public money. That is why reform of public procurement legislation is one of the 12 priority actions articulated in the Single Market Act (IP/11/469), adopted in April 2011. Open and competitive public procurement has driven down costs by around 4%, generating savings of approximately €20 billion.
Public purchasers across the EU are replacing paper-based administrative procedures by electronic tools and processes. Full conversion to e-procurement can save between €50 and €70 billion per year according to recent Deutsche Bank research. The forthcoming revision of EU public procurement rules will seek to integrate the potential of e-procurement. The work being launched today will help to identify technical and practical solutions which can help to give full expression to the new legislative provisions when they take effect.
The actions launched today include:
Expert Group: Terms of Reference and call for applications:
Terms of Reference for the e-procurement monitoring and benchmarking study (notice 2011/S 142-235043 of 27/07/2011):
Summary of the Green Paper responses: