Growth

E-procurement

E-procurement

The EU has decided to undertake a thorough rethinking of the public procurement process with procurement digitalisation. This goes beyond simply moving to electronic tools; it rethinks various pre-award and post-award phases with the aim to make them simpler for businesses to participate in and for the public sector to manage. It also allows for the integration of data-based approaches at various stages of the procurement process.

With digital tools, public spending should become more transparent, evidence-oriented, optimised, streamlined and integrated with market conditions. This puts e-procurement at the heart of other changes introduced to public procurement in new EU directives.

The use of electronic tools in public procurement offers a range of important benefits such as:

  • significant savings for all parties
  • simplified and shortened processes
  • reductions in red-tape and administrative burdens
  • increased transparency
  • greater innovation
  • new business opportunities by improving the access of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to public procurement markets.

The new rules on e-procurement in the EU will be gradually introduced:

  • tender opportunities and tender documents will become electronically available by April 2016 (transposition date for the revised Directive);
  • central purchasing bodies should move to full electronic means of communication including electronic bid submission by April 2017;
  • e-submission should be made mandatory for all contracting authorities and all procurement procedures by October 2018 (two years after the expected transposition of the revised Directive);
  • more detailed provisions to encourage interoperability and standardisation of e-procurement processes are needed.

Timetable for the rollout of e-procurement in the EU (40 KB)

Key policy documents

On 16 April 2014, the E-Invoicing Directive 2014/55/EU was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

On 26 February 2014, the Classical Sector Directive 2014/24/EU was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The deadline for EU countries to transpose the directive is 18 April 2016. EU countries may postpone the application of the provisions on e-submission until 18 October 2018 however.

On 26 June 2013, the European Commission adopted a Communication on 'End-to-end e-procurement to modernise public administration'.

On 20 April 2012, the Commission adopted a Communication on 'A strategy for e-procurement'.

On 18 October 2010, the Commission released a Green Paper on 'expanding the use of e-procurement in the EU'.

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