Simplifying e-procurement and e-invoicing adoption

2016.05 European public procurement interoperability initiative

When is this action of interest to you? 
  • You run a business that participates in public call for tenders.
  • You are a public buyer in charge of public procurement.
  • You are a public administrator in charge of issuing evidences needed in public procurement.
  • You are a service provider in charge of the aggregation of evidence data needed in public procurement.

What is this action about?

In the domain of public procurement communication requires extensive paperwork from both buyers and suppliers. The administrative burden is even greater when businesses participate in cross-border calls for tender. This is because national procurement systems and registers are not always sufficiently integrated and usually do not share and reuse data. To address this, the European Commission has put in place several initiatives to simplify procurement procedures. ISA² currently supports e-Prior, e-Certis and the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) to facilitate participation in online public procurement and the adoption of electronic invoices regardless of country or sector. ISA² is also funding via this action the creation of an e-procurement ontology and the publication of public procurement code lists on the metadata registry to facilitate the reuse of the vast amount of data available from different sources.

This ISA² action will help update and improve existing EU tools for e-procurement. It will develop a common public procurement knowledge base to facilitate the creation, exchange, dissemination and reuse of procurement data. This action is closely related to the e-procurement activities under the Connecting European Facility (CEF), a financial instrument that helps public and private entities make their solutions interoperable.

What are the objectives?

The main objective is to ensure the interoperability of e-procurement solutions and to enable the implementation of e-procurement across the EU through:

  • Contributing to the definition of interoperability standards and developing public procurement vocabularies and code lists
  • Providing a set of reusable open source solutions and services for e-procurement
  • Reducing the administrative burden and simplifying procedures for buyers and suppliers to encourage cross-border public procurement
  • Creating an ontology to illustrate the data relations within public procurement
  • Ensuring access to and reuse of public procurement data
  • Supporting interoperability initiatives such as OpenPeppol 

What are the benefits?

For businesses

  • Simplification of administrative procedures and reduced paperwork in public procurement
  • Application of the once-only principle, enabling public buyers to directly access supplier evidences from the relevant registers
  • Simplification of cross-border business
  • Increased transparency thanks to simplified access to procurement data and its reuse

For EU Member States and public buyers

  • Contribution to the Digital Single Market in Europeprocu
  • Enhanced interoperability of data, optimal reuse of data and increased data quality
  • More efficient public procurement procedures
  • Reduced investment in public procurement

What are the next steps?

The planned activities include:
  • Provision of a basic back-office system connected to Open e-PRIOR/PEPPOL, which Public Administrations can adopt to consult e-invoices received through the PEPPOL network
  • Contribution to the definition and evolution of interoperability standards
  • Sharing experience and lessons learnt with Member States in the context of compliance with the e-invoice directive and in the implementation of e-submission (technical issues related to ensuring confidentiality of tenders) 
  • Improving access to the existing procurement solutions
  • Providing easy access to public procurement vocabularies and code lists through the metadata registry
  • Development of the e-procurement ontology
  • Continuing with workshops on the ESPD and e-procurement for EU countries to assess their situation and provide support
  • Support TOOP (The Once-Only Principle) project in developing the concept of the once-only principle in public procurement