The CEN BII Workshop was established in May 2007 with the objective of harmonising electronic procurement in Europe. The BII Workshop is a standardisation initiative within CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). It provides a framework for interoperability in pan-European electronic transactions expressed as a set of technical specifications.
The mission of the CEN BII Workshop is to spread and facilitate the use of e-Procurement standards for buyers and suppliers, and especially public administrations, by:
- identifying requirements (including legal requirements) regarding e-procurement standards;
- providing a general framework for the organisational and semantic levels of the electronic procurement documents;
- supporting the implementation of commonly applied international e-procurement standards;
- providing organisational support to ensure the governance and maintenance for those requirements during the lifetime of the workshop.
CEN BII standardises eProcurement processes, documents and content, supporting EU-wide interoperability and covering the full procurement cycle, from notification in the pre-award phase, to payment in the post-award phase.
CEN BII defines a minimum set of core information elements of the documents and business processes involved in electronic public procurement. These are published as a set of technical specifications, called CEN BII profiles, and documented as CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs).
The Workshop activities support the actions of the Digital Agenda for Europe (Pillar II: Interoperability and Standards) by ensuring that e-Procurement solutions and services based on BII specifications can interact seamlessly anywhere.
Today, the Workshop is in its third development phase (CEN WS/BII3) that began on March 2013. Current activities are focused on improving the specifications, including additional business requirements and ensuring wider adoption. Participation in CEN WS/BII3 activities is open to all interested organisations.
The CEN BII specifications have been implemented in several institutions, including the European Commission, and government agencies in England, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc.