The federal government of Belgium will implement Open e-Prior, the open source electronic invoicing software solution developed by the European Commission's ISA programme. The software should be up and running by September.
The government aims to use Open e-Prior to handle a quarter of all invoices sent by suppliers before the end of the legislature in June 2014. Open e-Prior was selected primarily because it can be rapidly implemented to help meet this objective.
Electronic invoicing is one of the key projects planned by Belgium's federal government to help modernise public administration and to save costs for government suppliers. By implementing Open e-Prior the government wants to lead by example.
"Finland, Denmark and Greece already require their suppliers to submit invoices electronically", Hendrik Bogaert, Belgium's Secretary of State for Civil Service and Modernisation of Public Services says in a press release. He hopes that by setting an example for Belgium, the government can convince the private sector. "Modernising our government should boost our country's competitiveness."
In 2012, Belgium's federal public service received over 1.2 million invoices. The government estimates that electronic invoicing can save 1.84 euro per invoice for the supplier and 6.49 euro for the receiver. That means that per year, e-invoicing can help suppliers save 2 million euro and the public sector 7.5 million euro.
Belgium's public administrations that will take up e-invoicing are allowed to invest half of the savings that they achieve to improvement their services. The government hopes that this will help to make public organisations make their suppliers aware of e-invoicing.
Open e-PRIOR is a free and open-source solution and available to any public administration. The software is based on European CEN/BII standards. Suppliers can connect to ePrior using one of several service providers. Small and medium sized enterprises and individuals can also use a web portal to access the services.