European Vortal Academy (EVA)

Published on: 23/02/2010

This case illustrates the role of advanced and interdisciplinary training for policy markers and executives to support and to push the processes of change required to introduce eProcurement.

EUROPEAN VORTAL ACADEMY- eVA- is an interdisciplinary program initially born to train executives and experts to cope with these challenges through an integrated and systemic understanding of major issues of e-public procurement avoiding the usual temptation of Latin cultures to identify public procurement with public law.

VORTAL is the leading company in Portugal offering services of e-procurement (more than 60% of market share) now pursuing a path of internationalization in Europe, and therefore EUROPEAN VORTAL ACADEMY has now more ambitious objectives embracing executives and experts of other member States having to apply e-public procurement procedures following Directives 2004/17/CE and 2004/18/CE.

These objectives have to consider key European policies related to e-procurement, namely on support to SMEs, on development of E-Government and public markets as well as important projects such as PEPPOL explaining why the head and several lectures of EVA are active contributors of PEPPOL since it's beginning.

Policy Context

Portugal developed a new legal framework for public procurement since 2008, transposing the public procurement Directives 2004/17/CE and 2004/18/CE and based on three major innovations:

  • Full adoption of eProcurement for any open, restricted or negotiated procedure to award a public contract avoiding traditional paperwork and increasing speed, transparency and competitiveness,
  • Increase of acessibility through electronic publication by an official portal of all notices and contract announcements .
  • Full specification of the multi-criteria model to be adopted by the jury to select the "most economically advantageous proposal" and its presentation in the procedure documents to be known by any tenderer when preparing its tender in order that equity and equal treatment will be more fully respected.

Such radical changes require a vast program to train executives and experts from contracting authorities and vendors to implement these news approaches.

Description of target users and groups

This program includes high level seminars for CEO's, specialized courses on public acquisitions of goods, services and works, e-business, multi-criteria models for tender evaluation, negotiation techniques, public auctions and new procedures such as framework agreements or dynamic acquisition systems.

Major programs will be offered in Portuguese and in English since 2010 hoping to contribute to cross border public e-procurement helping to build up a more dynamic and integrated European public market.

The eVA approach is based on interdisciplinary training to improve public procurement and it includes scientific contributions from public management, supply chain management, decision sciences, economics, public law, ICT and electronic platforms.

The programs are organized in terms of target groups:

a) Directive boards and CEO's of public contracting authorities and of vendors;

b) Technical staff in charge of organising procurement procedures for public works, goods or services;

c) Technical staff of vendors;

d) Experts from enablers such as consulting companies, ICT providers, etc.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The organization is based an a partnership between the leader of electronic plataforms services in Portugal(VORTAL) and teams of university teachers.

The scientific director of eAV is teacher Luís Valadares Tavares (IST, Tecnical University of Lisbon) and the administrative director is Bruno Ferreira (Vortal). 

Technology solution

The adopted tecnology is based on the electronic plataform of private partner of the project and the learning process is supported by interactive tecnologies to help implementing hands-on sessions.

Technology choice: Proprietary technology

Main results, benefits and impacts

The programs include lectures, tutorials and management games. Different programs were offerred to the participants.

A significant percentage of these training actions is devoted to the staff of simple client (in-house courses).

Lessons learnt

  • Training is essential to the process of change associated to the adoption of e-procurement;
  • Training should be problem oriented and based on an  interdisciplinary  approach;
  • Training should include hands-on and role playing exercises;
  • Training should be ultimately aiming to rationalize supply chains (for the buyers) and to increase competitiveness for the vendors.
Scope: Cross-border, International