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Fiche :: Action 23: Provide guidance on ICT standardisation and public procurement

Action 23: Provide guidance on ICT standardisation and public procurement

22 October 2010

Issue a Communication in 2011 to provide guidance on the link between ICT standardisation and public procurement to help public authorities use standards.

What is the problem? Vary specifications for tenders on public procurement

Public authorities should make the best use of available standards when commissioning hardware, software and IT services from external suppliers. Yet, the practices of public authorities across the EU vary greatly when it comes to writing tender specifications for public procurement. In some cases, public authorities find themselves unintentionally locked into particular IT solutions for decades, simply because they failed to draft sufficiently flexible tender specifications allowing for open choices in technological evolution.

Why is EU action required? Public authorities lose out

The Commission will draw up detailed guidelines on how to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications. For instance, public authorities should select standards which can be implemented by all interested suppliers, allowing for more competition and reducing the risk of lock-in. (See also action 26.)

What will the Commission do?

The European Commission will:
In 2011:

  • Conduct a pan-European study assessing the public procurement practices in the EU, through an on-line survey for public procurers and ICT suppliers. This survey was open until 14 November 2011.
  • On 12 December 2011, there will be a workshop on ICT Procurement, in Brussels. This workshop forms part of the work undertaken by Europe Economics to develop guidelines to assist public procurers in purchasing ICT that is based on standards. For more information, go to the workshop webpage
  • Further comments on the draft guidelines can be provided through a web consultation until 14 February 2012.

In 2012:

  • Adopt the Communication on standardisation and public procurement.
  • Make sure that the guidelines are practically applicable by all public procurers of ICT goods and services.


Additional Information