ETHICS: Electronic Tender Handling, Information and Communications System (ETHICS)

Published on: 18/01/2008
ETHICS: Electronic Tender Handling, Information and Communications System. Tendering has always been a complex process to undertake and very time consuming for all parties involved. In 1995 inno:vasion was asked to help The Danish National Procurement to assist with the evaluation of all proposals from 36 vendors, a total of more than 30.000 pages. The task was carried out successfully because of the National Procurement’s knowledge within the legislation combined with inno:vasion’s knowledge and experience within complex decision making processes. After completing the task it became obvious that there was plenty of room for improvement within the areas of: Quality insurance, Simplification, Efficiency, Automation - and in the end Transparency.

Policy Context

EU's Public Procurement directives

Description of target users and groups

Contracting Autorities in the Public Sector

Description of the way to implement the initiative

ETHICS is implmented as Service Offering or as a software licens through the local IBM Office or an IBM Business Partner.

Technology solution

ETHICS is a WEB based solution that only requires the use of a standard browser. Technology choice: Standards-based technology, Mainly (or only) open standards, Accessibility-compliant (minimum WAI AA), Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

Since 1995 inno:vasion has actively developed and implemented ETHICS; an electronic tendering solution which has trimmed workflows, procedures and the size and complexity of the organization involved in this process. The system has been fully operational since 2002 and covers planning, drafting and publication of tenders, management of all related processes, issuing and running online tenders in a secure way using the newest collaboration technology and digital certificates; and also assisting in the final decision and award process as well as supporting team rooms for external specialists, advisors and users. The impact of the solution has brought fundamental changes in the organizations that have implemented the solution. Among these are: - The productivity has more than doubled, so that twice as many tenders are being run annually using the same number of staff. - Quality and transparency has improved with the effect that there have been no complaints or legal issues raised. - The standardization of the knowledge base used in running the organization has meant that despite a staff turnover of 50% over the last 4 years, new staff have adapted to the system easily and there have been no delays or disruptions to services. - New areas that before seemed impossible to cover are now being easily handled (i.e. more than 700 vendors in one tender procedure). ETHICS was initially developed in close cooperation with IBM and the Danish National Procurement. In 2004 ETHICS was implemented in Portugal with the help of IBM and UMIC (The Portuguese Knowledge Society Agency) - and further development was carried out to meet the National requirements. In 2006 ETHICS was implemented together with IBM and MDPT in Slovakia on a national level under the name EVO together with IBM and MDPT (The Slovakian Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications). Today improvements and new functionality is constantly being added in cooperation with the central government and local authorities in both Denmark and Slovakia. Among these are: - The Danish Ministry of Finance - The Danish Defense, Central Command - Movia Public Transport - The National Public Procurement Office in Slovakia.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

The experience gained using ETHICS has been shared with: 1. The local authorities and central government in Denmark, Slovakia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany - among others. 2. The World Bank 3. IAPSO 4. NATO

Lessons learnt

1. Easier to implement than expected by users. 2. Management commitment is important. 3. Despite differences in the way the EU legislation has been implemented in each of the EU member states, ETHICS has proven to have the necessary flexibility to meet these local requirements. Scope: International