CEN BII in Istanbul: Procurement under the snow

SRDC kindly organized the last CEN BII face-to-face meeting from the 17th to the 19th of February 2015. The meeting venue was in the Taksim Eresin Hotel, near the Taksim square in Istanbul, Turkey.

New Mosque

During the workshop, the different task teams made good progress in the various deliverables and the future ahead was discussed in the Plenary sessions.

Architecture team meeting

On Tuesday, the Architecture team met. The work took all day, with a break for lunch in the terrace of the hotel. It started snowing at noon. Jostein Fromyr and Edmund Gray led the work on the different topics and deliverables.

The main discussed topics were:

  • Maintenance Process Guideline
    This guideline addresses the maintenance of the CEN BII deliverables between workshops, where there is no “official” support. There was a presentation from Oriol Bausà on the maintenance of the validation artefacts, and the need for a life cylce management and continuous support.
  • Profile Architecure
    There was a discussion on adding the envelope into the reference model of BII and some comments were resolved.
  • Gathering of business requirements
    There were comment resolutions.
  • Code lists
    The team agreed to simplify the use of the code lists and there was also de concern about different languages raised by the eNotification team.
  • Syntax Implementation Guideline
    There was a decision to add sample XML files into the guideline and some discussions on how to create the template document for Syntax Implementation Guidelines.
  • Core concept
    The concept of Core was discussed. Martin Forsberg provided a list of hints to be used as the basis for taking this deliverable further.
  • Envelope
    OASIS has taken over the work to define a new Envelope, the BDE within the OASIS BDXR team. This new envelope covers the requirements in the SBDH and allows for digital signatures using XAdES. The team agreed that the work done by the BDXR Team fulfills all requirements from the CEN BII team.
  • Electronic Signatures
    Andrea Caccia and Raffaella Migliorini presented the current status of the electronic signatures in Europe and the new digital signature standards, and they asked the members of the team to provide feedback on the public review of the different drafts of digital signature standards just started.

After this long session, the group walked over the snow to take the traditional kokorec for dinner.

Open Plenary Meeting

On Wednesday the 18th, Jostein Fromyr, the Workshop vice-chair started the Open Plenary. He thanked SRDC for hosting the meeting.

Yildiray Kabak from SRDC and technical editor of the CEN BII post award team welcomed all the workshop participants to Istanbul and explained the social event. SRDC had planned a social dinner in a restaurant with a terrace over the Bosphorus.

After Yildiray’s introduction, there was a roll-call and Jostein Fromyr reviewed the Agenda both for the opening and closing plenaries.

The CEN Secretary reviewed the minutes from the meeting in Stockholm and the open action items.

PC 434 Liaison

Georg Birgisson from Midran presented the report on the liaison with the PC 434 project committee on eInvoicing.

Georg started explaining the work in PC434: This CEN Project Committee is working on the creation of a standard semantic model for the electronic invoice for Europe. The work started during the fall 2014 and the first task is creating a draft semantic model for the electronic invoice. This draft has been created using the CEN BII and MUG information models as the initial input. The new draft is to a large extent representing the same BII2 invoice model.

This model has raised a lot of interest within the European community, and around 1500 comments have been received.

One of the important points in the PC434 is the concept of the core, because every public organization in Europe will have to understand everything defined as being part of the core.

The liaison plan is to align the BII deliverables with the invoice European Norm. BII is an active contributor and Georg asked the workshop on the way forward for the liaison, providing some alternatives:

  • Continue providing input
  • Actively submitting proposals
  • Only reviewing and providing comments on PC434 working drafts

In reply to Georg’s questions, there was a debate regarding some potential issues. For instance, it was raised the need to ensure that the EN to be fully compatible with the CEN BII work. Georg identified a timing challenge because BII is finishing in 2015 and PC434 in 2016. There could then be gaps or minor misalignments that ought to be solved in another cycle.

Martin Forsberg highlighted the consequences that adopting the CEN EN could have in other transactions and in the Business Terms Vocabulary, and warned about the complexities of this task.

eInvoicing and eProcurement in Europe – State of Play

Antonio Conte, from DG GROW started explaining the major developments and achievements in 2014 regarding electronic public procurement.

He explained that the European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on eInvoicing (EMSFEI) has been extended until 2017 and there is an upcoming meeting on 18th of March.

Among other tasks, the EMSFEI has to provide advice to the European Commission on the governance of the CEF.

Mr Conte explained the new Directive 2014/55/EU on eInvoicing in public procurement with its call for a new European Standard to be developed and tested by CEN. The law defines the following calendar:

  • 2014/05/27 Enters into force the new directive
  • 2017/05/27 The European Norm to become available
  • 2018/11/27 Mandatory at national level for all CPBs (Central Purchasing Bodies)
  • 2019/11/29 Generally mandatory for all Contracting Bodies

The request was to develop the European Norm about a semantic model for the electronic invoice, a limited number of invoice formats and the syntax bindings from the EN semantic model to these syntaxes. There are also additional guidelines on interoperability, on the optional use of sector or country extensions and on mechanisms for testing of the syntax bindings.The requirements for this task are:

  • Should be based on BII and MUG semantic models
  • Shall consider where relevant several syntaxes such as CIIXML, UBL, Financial Invoice or others
  • Should also take into account: EIF, ISA, results of Large Scale Pilots and the CEF Digital Service Infrastructure on eInvoicing
  • List of specific requirements such as being technologically neutral…

There has been a first draft of the semantic model in 2014/12/18 and there will be a final draft on 2015/4/30.

Following this description of the PC434 tasks, Mr Conte described in more detail the major reforms in Public Procurement legislation and the new Expert group on eProcurement (EXEP). The goals of the EXEP being:

  • To assist and advice in implementing provisions of the Public Procurement Directives to Member States and the Commission.
  • To contribute monitoring the uptake of eProcurement
  • To liaise with the European Forum on eInvoicing.

After that, it was the turn for the Connecting Europe Facility. It is a financing tool for projects which fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.

There are 1,14 billion € budget for telecom, from which 970 million € on DSIs (Digital Service Infrastructures) for the period 2014-2020.

There are two types of DSIs, the Building block DSIs, that cover Interoperability of eID, eSignature, eDelivery, eInvoicing and automated translation, and Sector specific DSIs that refer to transEuropean services for the citizens, business and public Administrations in eProcurement, eHealth, etc.

Following this presentation from Mr. Conte, there were questions regarding the PC 434 and the number of syntaxes, about the role of BII and Open PEPPOL in this news scenario. The interest of the Commission in those two projects was highlighted and demonstrated by the fact that there were different members of the European Commission actively participating in the workshop.

The future of CEN BII

Jostein Fromyr said that the Workshop really appreciates the support from the European Commission.

His presentation on the future of CEN BII described what had happened so far after the discussions in Essen and in Stockholm regarding the options available. The main conclusion after the Stockholm meeting was to establish a new TC on electronic public procurement.

A proposal for a new TC was issued by Denmark, Netherlands and Norway and the vote was closed on Feb 10th.

The result of the cast was: 6 abstained not voting, 6 abstained, 18 agreed with some of them willing to be actively engaged, 2 disagreed with comments. and there was a single fundamental disagreement. A fundamental disagreement is a strong opposition so it can make the proposal fail.

Jostein explained the comments raised with the disagreements and he said that all them could be addressed.

There is another proposal from Germany to create a TC in CEN with the title: “eBusiness Processes in Supply Chain and in the Insurance Industry”. This proposal has been submitted by DIN, and they do not see any conflict with the proposal presented by Denmark, Netherlands and Norway. Jostein explained the details of the DIN Proposal.

Then, next steps regarding the CEN TC’s submission were explained:

  • The stakeholders behind the danish, norwegian and dutch proposal to evaluate the comments received and develop a proposal for resolution.
  • The DIN proposal is due for voting by CEN Members on March 3
  • There is a discussion in the next BT meeting (March 4th -5th) to resolve this issue

Snow in Istanbul

The implications of all these activities are:

  • A new TC will be established (The scope or organizational structure is unknown at this point)
  • This new TC will be the most likely place where BII CWA can be progressed to a European Norm
  • BT will take a decision on March

And regarding the Implications of this future new TC on the BII work and deliverables, there were also some comments:

  • BII has to maintain focus, timely production of good quality deliverables as planned.
  • Capacity building has to continue to ensure continue uptake.

The Open Plenary ended and the task teams started the actual work.

Closing Plenary

On Thursday 19, the task teams were working all morning. The snow had covered all the Mosques in Istanbul and the flights were cancelled during all Wednesday due to the snow storm.

In the evening, the Plenary met again to report on the task teams and to discuss on additional points pending since Stockholm.
The first point in the Agenda was the acceptance of the Syntax Binding Policy and the discussion on whether the GS1 XML syntax would qualify as an open standard to be included as a new syntax binding in the BII CWA.

Doug Hill from GS1 Denmark and Tomas Tluchor from GS1 Czech Republic made a presentation to explain the GS1 opinion on the openness of the GS1 XML syntax and its suitability to qualify for being part of the CEN BII standard.

There was a long discussion on the different topics, such as the standard creation process, the need to become member of GS1, the number of messages and coverage of the business processes, etc. and the views of the members of the CEN BII where not unanimous.
There were some comments against the adoption of the GS1 XML syntax as a part of the CWA, considering that nothing prevents GS1 to create their own syntax binding, and there were also comments positive to the adoption of GS1 XML, basically taking into account the support of the GS1 members and to the large community of users.

There was no resolution though. The final decision was postponed and Jostein Fromyr asked the Workshop members to reply in writing after a period of reflection.

After this long slot, the task team made their reports on the work made during the two days.

Task team reports

  • Natalie Muric presented the advance in the new forms and the modeling in the three notice documents.
  • Veit Jahns presented the conclusions on the pre-award catalogue and call for tenders with catalogue request.
  • Fred van Bloomstein presented the work done on the procedural profiles, the ESPD, the encryption of tenders and the new profiles that will be defined.
  • Martin Forsberg did a presentation on the post-award team work and the status of their deliverables.
  • Jostein Fromyr explained the session on Tuesday of the Architecture team.

After the task team reports, Jostein thanked the assistants and the organizers and the sessions was closed.

The Seminar was organized in Ankara on Friday, therefore some of the members of the CEN BII where planning to be there. Unfortunately, the snow storm had obliged the Ataturk airport to cancel all flights on Wednesday and Thursday was very chaotic too. I spent more than 5 hours to fly back to Barcelona, arriving at 4:50 a.m. on Friday.

Next meeting will be in Iceland in May, hope to have some sun up there.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *