Why promote public procurement digitalisation and contract registers?
As digitisation can make public spending more transparent, evidence-oriented, optimised and integrated with market conditions, the European Commission put e-procurement is at the heart of changes to EU public procurement rules. The European Commission is also committed to promoting initiatives that ensure better public procurement governance through improved data use as part of its Single Market Strategy.
Good governance is essential to the performance of public institutions, and monitoring and accountability are governance mechanisms that help improve government and the implementation of policies at all levels. With these mechanisms in place, governments are better able to support sustainable and inclusive growth, which also increases citizens’ trust over time.
Contract registers in particular are a valuable tool for better governance as they make it possible to create an integrated vision for national expenditure and monitor its life cycle. By awarding this year’s prizes to successful cases of contract register implementation, the European Commission intends to:
- reward good work already done
- incentivise continuing contract register efforts
- highlight positive national solutions to promote good practice across the EU
The competition is open to any public entity that is responsible for the solution presented to the contest, from the EU or EEA, alone or in association with other entities. The contract register is to be operational at national level.
Solutions will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Scope (30 points)
What types of contracts does the system cover? What are the thresholds for publication? Which procurement information does the contract register record? Does the solution cover information at national, regional and local level?
2. Data integrity and analytics (25 points)
What are the mechanisms in place to ensure data quality? What are the enforcement mechanisms to ensure that data are recorded in the system? What data analytics tool is implemented? What official reports are produced with data from the contract register? How are the data analysis results used in steering public procurement policy?
3. Interoperability (20 points)
How much is the contract register connected with other systems to acquire data? In which formats is information made available to external services? What services are directly fed by the contract register (e.g. interoperability with TED, eTendering systems, eInvoice systems, etc.)?
4. Openness and user friendliness (20 points)
Is the contract register easily accessible? Does the interface provide a search function? What is the total number of contracts publicly available? How many unique visitors were there in the first trimester of 2018? Is the interface available in languages other than the national one(s)? Is there a support service in place? Is the information available in any open data format? Does the system provide publicly available statistics? How is the information presented (for example, only structured information or mainly documents)?
5. Governance and sustainability (5 points)
What is the governance process for the contract register? What benefits has the implementation of the contract register provided? Have there been studies or analysis on the usage of the contract register? What are the plans to maintain and further improve the contract register? Do you have provisions in place to maintain the system for the next two years?
Submitting an application
Public entities can submit their application via an electronic form between 4 June and 30 June 2018.
Due to some technical problems with the application process during the last days of submission, the application form will be re-opened and available for submission from Monday, 16 July 2018 to Friday, 20 July 2018. Thank you for your understanding.
Information about this contest is available in English only.
The contest jury will consist of 3 people from the EU institutions knowledgeable in public procurement, transparency and electronic procurement.
Winners will receive prizes at the European Commission’s annual public procurement conference in Lisbon (18 October 2018). The prizes are:
- €7,000 for 1st place
- €5,000 for 2nd place
- €3,000 for 3rd place
1st Prize – Italy
Banca Dati Nazionale dei Contratti Pubblici (BDNCP) is the Italian contract register through which contracting authorities can verify the documentation of economic operators attesting that they meet the general, technical-organisational and economic-financial requirements for participation in public tenders for works, supplies and services. It is managed by the Supervisory Authority for Public Contracts (AVCP).
- scope of the register: there are essentially no value thresholds for being included
- interoperability with other systems: 6 different systems send data to the Italian contract register and 10 systems take data from the contract register and use it elsewhere
2nd Prize – Portugal
Portal BASE is the Portuguese Public Procurement Portal that publishes information on all contracts concluded under the Public Contracts Code. It also provides access to Public Works Observatory – the information system that assesses and monitors public works procurement in Portugal. It is managed by the Institute of Construction and Real Estate, InCI.
- quality of the data on the register: the data analytic tools and the openness of the data
- user friendliness of the system: it looks neat, allows you to search a wide-array of parameters, and is a very pleasant tool to use
3rd Prize – Estonia
Riigihangete Register (EE), the Estonian Public Procurement Register, is a free self-service environment for contracting authorities and economic operators to conduct and participate in public procurement. Anyone can browse published procurements, notices, contract information and review committee decisions. It is administered by the Ministry of Finance.
- the register's interoperability, governance and sustainability