Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Action 23: Provide guidance on ICT standardisation and public procurement

Article
The action aims at issuing a Communication to provide guidance on the link between ICT standardisation and public procurement to help public authorities using standards.

The Commission has drawn up detailed guidelines on how to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications. The Commission also issued in June 2013 a Communication on standardisation and public procurement.

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 has drawn 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 has the Commission done?

More specifically, the European Commission:

In 2011:

In 2012:

In 2013:

What will the Commission do next?

Open standards would save public sector €1 billion a year

Guidelines for public procurement of ICT systems

The European Commission and the European Parliament are organising a conference to highlight the opportunities offered by electronic procurement (e-procurement)in order to simplify public procurement procedures and to achieve better procurement outcomes as well as better value-for-money in public expenditure. The conference programme will include: presentations from contracting authorities and companies that are already using e-procurement tools, from the EU and beyond, explaining the challenges they had to overcome and the benefits they have obtained; a panel of senior European policy-makers and business people discussing the potential of e-procurement to address current economic and political challenges faced by the EU; presentations on the e-procurement landscape in Europe, including e-procurement solutions and best practices in the marketplace.
Tuesday
26
Jun
2012
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Brussels, Belgium
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This event will offer an opportunity to explore and discuss how semantic interoperability solutions are being embraced by eGovernment initiatives. The conference combines plenary sessions and interactive panels. eGovernment and semantics experts will present their case studies and real-life examples and experiences with semantic technologies. Semantic Interoperability is a major step for achieving the provision of cross-border digital public services.
Monday
18
Jun
2012
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Brussels, Belgium
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This workshop forms part of the work undertaken by the European Commission and Europe Economics to develop guidelines to assist public procurers in purchasing ICT that is based on standards. This is an action of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE).
Monday
12
Dec
2011
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Brussels, Belgium
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Opening up Europe: from Common Standards to Open Data

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Progress Report
Status: Completed Viorel Peca Viorel Peca