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Seminar on eProcurement

On December 14th, 2012, the European Commission organized a Seminar on eProcurement in order to present the non-legislative work carried out by DG MARKT in the area of e-Procurement to discuss the results of this work with participants and to receive their feedback.

Here you have the recording of the sessions.

The projects presented during the Seminar were:

A.Deckers explained the seminar: for each project there was a presentation from the  responsible and after that introduction, a panelist discussion was planned to reflect several viewpoints and open the discussion to the audience. It was a full room with more or less 80 people participating in the debates.

Erik Nooteboom, Director of Public Procurement in DG Internal Market, did the keynote speak. He explaining that there was presence of 29 nacionalities with representation of all the stakeholders involved in e-Procurement.

He explained briefly the projects being presented and the on-going legislative process in the EC with three main proposals:

  1. Modify the procurement Directive
  2. Modernize the utilities procurement
  3. Create a new proposal for concession procurement

He said that on summer next year, an overall agreement will be reached, with a deadline for full e-Procurement by 2017.

Gabriella Cattaneo from IDC explained the e-Procurement ecosystem in Europe. She said there are 16 Member States mandating a one-stop portal and only 5 Member States do not have eSubmission available.

She explained the main models of e-Procurement in Europe:

  1. Central Purchasing Body from the Member State Government centralizing procurement
  2. Centralized public national platforms for small countries
  3. Centralized regional platform model
  4. Voluntary decentralized model
  5. Eastern European model where eAuction is promoted

She concluded that e-Procurement is still marginal but it is growing fast

Presentation of the Golden Book

A.Deckers introduced Kelly Liljemo from PwC, project leader of the Golden Book,  explaining that most of the testing carried out during the Golden Book project was done acting as a user both from the economic operator and contracting authority roles.Oriol Bausà from Invinet Sistemes has participated with PwC in this project during 2012.

Kelly Liljemo explained the objective of the Golden Book and the methodology used to create it:

  1. Identify platforms. From a long list of  300+ systems 28 platforms were selected based on a number of criteria such as its support for eSubmission, a pan European coverage, coverage of different business models and sectors…
  2. An interview was run with platforms owners
  3. All 28 platforms were tested both in the role of EO and CA. A set of 30 test cases were executed in every platform.
  4. An end user survey was launched to collect information from end users of the platforms to confirm the findings from the tests
  5. With all that information, a set of findings was translated into practices. A large number of practices was identified
  6. Finally, 24 best practices were selected based on their relevance according to the criteria stated by the e-TEG group.

After explaining the methodology, Kelly presented 4 practices from the Golden Book.

Panelists started the discussions, they were Martin Bergius and Dietlind Adam from Linde Health Car, Maurizio Rossetto from Enel and Elisabeth Grünmann from Auftrag.at.

There were questions from the audience, basically concerning security and end-to-end encryption. The balance between technical complexity and ease of use is difficult to achieve, and there are some member states where the corruption requires tougher restrictions to information to prevent fraud. Digital signatures were also a topic in the discussion. While there is a tendency on simplifying its usage, or even moving it to the contract settlement, there were other points of view, asking for mandatory eSignature for every single document just to prevent documents being tampered. (In general, the integrity of documents can be guaranteed with a simple hash though, it is not required an advanced digital signature to do so).

European Central Bank welcomed the Golden Book as a checklist of items to be taken into account, however, they said the report was too focused to economic operators so they lacked more information from the contracting authority side.

e-TEG Report

After a break, Kornelis Drijfhout presented the reports from the Expert Group on e-Tendering. Main ideas taken from his presentation were:

  1. Promote coordination among Member States
  2. Promote system to system e-Tendering through the use of structured and standardized documents (CEN BII and PEPPOL)
  3. Promote the collection of indicators to measure the uptake
  4. Reconsider the usage of digital signatures, moving it to the latest stage of the procurement (contract settlement)

The e-TEG reports is divided in two parts. First part has an strategic view and the second dives into the operational part of an eProcurement platform.

The panelists were Marina Borodina from the Estonian Environmental Board, Oriol Bausà from Invinet Sistemes and Lise Dalsgaard Hansen from Udbudskompagniet.

Oriol Bausà asked the e-TEG team to highlight some important recommendations from the e-TEG strategic report, such as the system to system interaction, the need of collecting indicators for measuring the uptake and the usage of CEN BII standards. He also said there were unclear recommendations such as the one about digital signatures, or the shift towards more control on the EU level over the way Member States are interpreting the EU Directives.

IDC Indicators

After presenting the e-TEG Report, the Seminar stopped for lunch.

In the afternoon, Gabriella Cattaneo, associate Vice President at IDC made her presentation on the study of e-Procurement performance indicators results. This is still an on-going project that will last until mid 2013 and will deliver a set of performance indicators for the EC to have a vision on the general uptake of e-Procurement in Europe.

The panel discussion was formed by Albert Mayol Borque from Everis, Gian Luigi Albano from Consip and Gilles Moutet from eGOV-Solutions.

CEN BII

Before closing the plenary, there was a presentation from Jostein Fromyr about the CEN BII2 deliverables and their work on pre-award was explained. He explained the Profile concept and the syntax binding to available international syntaxes such as UBL or UN/CEFACT as it is explained in an early post here.

To finalize, A.Deckers made a brief conclusion of the progress on these different initiatives.

One Comment

  1. Posted 17/12/2012 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Oriol! It really helps those of us who were unable to attend.

    . . . . . . . Ken

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