CEN BII 3 in Paris

On the 2nd of June 2014, the Ministère de l’économie, des finances et de l’industrie from the French Government hosted a Seminar on the CEN BII deliverables. More and more EU governments are looking at the outcomes of this CEN Workshop that is now running its 3rd edition, and they are implementing BII e-Procurement profiles to deploy standard pre and post award procurement business processes.


During the 3rd and 4th of June, the CEN BII participants were working and advancing on their deliverables. Find below some notes from the Plenary sessions.

CEN BII Open Plenary Meeting

The host of the CEN BII workshop was the Direction de l’information légale et administrative (DILA) and Mr Didier François provided the KeyNote speech

Mr Didier explained that DILA is the first public editor in France and they provide publication and dissemination services on different subjects such as Procurement, publishing Contract Notices.They have more then 350 Million visits on their websites.

Mr Didier said that standardization is important for DILA and their activities, and they aim to contribute to e-Procurement in EU.

Mr.Stuart Feder, chairman of the CEN BII Workshop thanked DILA for the invitation and for hosting the meeting.

After the initial presentation, there was a roll call: More than 50 people attended from several countries in the EU: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Iceland, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland and Luxemburg, and there were also representatives from the European Commission and the Publications Office.

After the roll call, Jostein Fromyr, CEN BII vice-chair explained the agenda for the two-days meeting. After the plenary, task groups would join to progress on the deliverables.

After the agenda update, Jaap van der Marel, CEN BII secretary from NEN went through the minutes from the previous meeting in Amsterdam. The minutes were approved and he explained the Action Items that were recorded during the Amsterdam meeting and their status.

Regarding the Open Space session on communication and file sharing tools that was done in Amsterdam, Jaap explained that the conclusion is trying to use Joinup as the tool to host the files and deliverables from the Workshop. This is still being evaluated but it could improve the access to the CEN BII deliverables.

Mantis will be used as a ticketing system to allow CEN BII members and public to add comments to the Workshop deliverables and to keep track on discussions and resolutions. There will be a direct link to Mantis from the CEN BII website

Jaap also explained some administrative changes in the organization of NEN, stating that Cher Otterspeer will be the new assistant for him in the workshop.

After talking about the Open Space sessions, he proceeded to deliver a presentation on the new electronic invoicing Directive.

Directive 2014/55/EU on electronic invoicing in public procurement

This new Directive was published on the 6th of May and entry into force the 26th of May

It is an 11 pages long Directive and its main aim is to ensure that an e-Invoice format exists and to help SMEs for cross border e-Procurement

The way to achieve this is through the creation of a semantic data model of the core elements for an invoice. European Standardization Organizations will be asked to develop and deliver such a European Standard.

Currently, the EC is in the process of drafting the Standardization Request that will be subject to Member State consultation before being issued. The Standardization Request has to describe the deliverables to be created.

Meanwhile, and before the Standardization Request has been issued, two members of CEN, (NEN and UNI) have already created a CEN Project Committee, the CEN/PC 434 in order to advance in this standardization work.

On 5th of February, they proposed the creation of such a Project Committee to save time and the poll was open until 6th of May 2014. There were no negative votes and 9 countries agreed to participate in the Project Committee.

After Jaap’s explanation Mr Harm Jan van Burg, vice-chair of UN/CEFACT, noticed that the setup of the Project Committee was settled before the EC has issued the Standardization Request and he asked whether something could eventually change. He also noticed that some countries may not be able to participate until the formal notice from the EC will be issued. He also asked about the way this committee would work under the CEN umbrella and how would be the envisaged collaboration with CEN BII.

Jaap answered that there may be changes in the context but not on the content. He did not foresee the content to change a lot, and that is why they think they could save time starting the work before the call.

Regarding the collaboration with BII, he said that some BII deliverables are already mentioned in the Directive, therefore, there should be a good collaboration with BII. In the agenda for the Project Committee there is a point for liaisons, and BII has to be absolutely taken into account.

Mr Jan van Burg raised some questions on how this has been organized.

Jostein stated that the relevant part of the CEN BII work would be contributed into the Project Committee to provide a good basis for the work to create a European Norm.

Martin Forsberg, post award task team leader in CEN BII stated that the biggest challenge is to ensure consistency between different transactions. He explained the new Business Term Vocabulary created in CEN BII3 in order to provide consistency and he said that the risk to take a document from the procurement chain and treat it in isolation should be avoided.

Jaap said that it is important to be involved through the National Standardization Committees.

Mr Jan van Burg suggested a logical approach to make CEN BII to evolve into the CEN PC, but it seems the CEN management preferred a new Committee to be created for this purpose.

Miss Kerstin Wiss from SFTI in Sweden also noticed that there will be also the need for technical editors.

Jaap agreed and explained there will be a call for nominations and a selection process.

The calling notice for the Kick-Off meeting of the CEN/PC 434 has been issued for the 9th of September in Brussels. The chair will be from UNI (Italy) and the secretary from NEN (Netherlands)

PEPPOL Implementation in Italy – Emilia Romagna

After the presentation on the EU Directive, it was the turn for a presentation on the deployment of PEPPOL in the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy. Their aim is to digitalize the whole e-Procurement process.

They support the whole process from e-Sourcing to e-Negotiation in pre-award and from e-Catalogue to e-Invoice in post award.

The PEPPOL Access Point will be used to process e-invoices, e-orders and electronic despatch advices.

Since 2008 the Emilia Romagna region has been participating in the Peppol project. The first pilot was to exchange e-invoices between Public Administrations.

Their Access Point is used to link the PEPPOL framework to the Italian Framework. they exchange e-invoices with the Italian Public Administration using PEPPOL Profiles, and the translation capabilities in the Access Point to translate to the national Italian format (SDI).

Electronic Invoicing to Public Authorities in Italy

Ms Antonella Caressa explained the current situation on e-Invoicing in Italy

Public Administrations must receive and will pay only those invoices received electronically. The Italian government has deployed a Gateway where every e-Invoice has to be submitted through. From the Gateway, the government will collect statistical data on public spending.

From 2008 until 2013, the Italian Government has stated the rules on the electronic invoices. They have been working in BII and PEPPOL in order to provide an interoperable solution, and then they applied their own rules. They have created their own technical format and rules, the format is called FatturaPA.

The FatturaPA format is an XML schema that contains mandatory fiscal information and digital signatures are also mandatory.

From friday 6th of June it is mandatory to send e-Invoices to ministries and other italian Public Administrations.

They can receive electronic invoices through PEPPOL Access Point and they have an interface that allows, through a translation service, convert PEPPOL e-Invoices to FatturaPA format invoices.

CEN BII3 Closing Plenary

On Wednesday, the 4th of June, the CEN BII meeting finished the working sessions and the final closing plenary started in the afternoon.

New Standard Forms from the Publications Office

There was a presentation from Marc-Cristopher Schmidt from DG MARKT and Natalie Muric from the Publications Office on the new Standard Forms they are preparing.

Marc-Cristopher emphasized on the goal that this is done to help Economic Operators to find business opportunities in the public sector in Europe.He explained that the forms are currently used in serveral ways:

  • e-Senders to send notices to the Publications Office
  • Through CEN BII notifications
  • Also used on national level for domestic notices
  • There are currently 19 forms to advice on different types of contracts, and the new Directive provides for additional forms for specific services or a new form that shall be used to notify a modification

    The project for amending the Publications Office Forms has two phases

    Phase 1: To make the forms compliant with the new Directive. The Defense forms will not be amended.

    The amendments will consist in removing some fields and adding others to comply with the new regulation. There will be also new indicators to capture statistical data (for instance tenders from SMEs) and there will be new forms and an alignment of the contents through all the forms in order to make them easier to work with.

    The roadmap will be:

    • The English version for the new forms is ready for approval
    • Publications Office will have to update eNotices, eSender Schema files (2.0.9) and both the old and the new forms will run in parallel.
    • The expected date for publication of the new forms is during October.
    • From April 2016, the Publications Office will only allow publication through forms.

    Phase 2: Technical revision of the forms (eSenders 3)

    The goal is to improve computable format based on a standard, to allow its use as national notification format and to permit better monitoring.

    This phase will start in summer and is planned for mid 2016.

    The CEN BII3 deliverables could be used as a foundation for the semantic model and provide a UBL 2.1 syntax binding.

    The calendars between CEN BII3 and the project for the new Forms should be aligned in order to improve cooperation.

    Marc-Christopher finalized with some ideas for the future:

    • Registration page for Contracting Authorities
    • Remove the need to always fill the first page of the forms.
    • Better traceability
    • Possible revision of CPV codes
    • Improve codification to help Contracting Authorities and Economic Operators.

    After Marc-Christopher presentation, the usual reports from the task leaders explaining the work done in the two-days meeting started.

    Reporting from Task Teams

    Natalie Muric – e-Notification

    Natalie explained the e-Notification team effort in the joint sessions with the pre-award group. She explained the presentation from Oriol Bausà on the Business Terms vocabulary and the enhancement of data model tasks and she explained the need to wait until the beginning of July to get input information from new Directive and follow-up on those tasks.

    She asked the members of the workshop to add input to the business term vocabulary into Mantis

    It was also agreed during the workshop the main guides for the new CWA profiles for e-Notification that will be drafted before the next meeting.

    Kornelis Drifjhout – e-Tendering

    Kornelis talked about several points:

    1. Consistency

      He explained we have managed to create a consistent pre-award data inventory, and to define the convergence path between Xvergabe and CEN BII2

      There are action items pending, incorporate the catalogue business terms, as well as the business terms from the new forms. There is a request to converge with the ISA Core Vocabularies, too.

      Xvergabe and BII have been consolidated in the same message and gaps have been identified and addressed.

    2. Guideline to implement procurement procedures

      There had been a joint discussion with the post award team and the conclusion was to enable the creation of profiles at the procedural level. Another conclusion was to allow light version and full version profiles, with less structured and more structured data models.

    3. Life cicle management
    4. New profiles
      It was not possible to work on new profiles such as the contract profile during the workshop.

    Martin Forsberg – Post-award

    Martin explained the work done these two days:

    • Business term vocabulary
    • Syntax implementation guidelines
    • Short presentation on payment guidelines
    • Work on punchout profile
    • Presentations of classification guideline, procurement with master data
    • Work on receipt advice
    • Work on guideline for integration with accounting

    Veit Jahns- e-Catalogue

    Veit said that there has been work on three e-catalogue deliverables

    1. Classification guideline is finished with contributions from GS1 and Ana Esterlich, that provided a presentation of Phast.
    2. Preaward catalogue. There are users that are identifying real needs for information requirements. There is enough input for review the preaward catalogue and align with the postaward catalogue based on this real life input.
    3. Preaward catalogue guideline. There has been not a lot input on that issue.

    Jostein Fromyr – Architecture

    This time, the Architecture meeting is on Thursday, so no possible to report yet.

    There had been several discussions, though, and some deliverables will be ready for review in summer.

    Regarding capability building, Jostein informed about the new web site, a major achievement due to the effort from Carmen Ciciriello.

    Next conferences are planned for:

    • Sep17-18 Frankfurt BME
    • Dec 2-3 Stockholm – SFTI
    • Feb 18-19 Istanbul – SRDC
    • May 12-13 Reykjavik – Icepro
    • Aug 25-27 Brussels

    Last report was from Jostein on the Management team and he explained the outreach to other initiatives:

    • eInvoicing Project Committee 434
    • MoU MG initiative prototyping a semantic registry

    Stuart Feder closed the CEN BII3 meeting with his final speech, thanking DILA for hosting the workshop and providing a good dinner on Tuesday in a restaurant just in front of the Tour Eiffel.

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