Germany’s transposing of the European rules on electronic public procurement has reached a decisive phase, the country’s Federal Ministry of the Interior reports. On 7 January, Germany made changes to its procurement law, making mandatory the use of electronic communication for the acquisition of goods and services as of April 2016.
Switching to electronic public procurement should make it easier for both procuring agencies and suppliers, and make the process more open. The updated procurement rules will also harmonise procedures, a spokesperson for the ministry explains.
Public administrations and companies will need to adapt their procedures and IT systems to allow eProcurement. This can be expensive, says the ministry, especially for smaller organisations. That is why they are given 24 months to comply.
The transition by federal, state and local public administrations will be monitored by the governments IT planning board.
Starting on 18 April 2016, Germany’s public administrations must submit tender notices to the publication office electronically. Submitting these documents by fax or as a PDF will no longer be possible. From that date on, all tender and contract documents will immediately be available electronically and free of charge. And, all communication regarding tender procedures will be managed electronically.
On Friday of last week, the ministry’s procurement office organised a workshop on the new rules, attended by nearly 130 representatives from federal, state and local public administrations. The agency provided an overview of the integrated electronic procurement in public administration and presented the key changes made to public procurement law. “It's important that we take e-procurement as an opportunity for the public sector, but also for society”, State Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology Iris Gleicke was quoted as saying.