The European Commission is considering a hotline for the reporting of bad procurement practices and help procurers to respect standardisation policy. The hotline is one of seven new actions contemplated by the EC to support the "effective take up and implementation of standards". The possible new actions are listed in the Rolling plan for ICT standardisation, published on 16 December and outlining the "next steps for ICT standardisation".
Also under consideration is a 'suppliers manifest'. This would encourage "major IT suppliers to issue a voluntary manifest promising to implement selected standards in their products." The other steps include pilot projects, interoperability tests and the exchange of good practices.
"The modalities and implementation these measures have not been defined yet, as the rolling plan has just been published, but we are expecting that they could start to be implemented next year", a project officer confirmed today.
To promote the implementation of ICT standards, the EC wants to increase awareness of their importance, the EC writes in its Rolling plan. "Standards and technical specifications in ICT ensure interoperability and promote open ICT ecosystems."
The document is drafted by the European Commission, in collaboration with the European Multi-Stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation, an advisory group on matters of ICT standardisation policy. The non-binding study describes which activities are needed to support the EU policy activities.
The study details the strategic role of ICT standards in priority areas such as health, education, procurement, cloud computing and open data. "Policy making in Europe makes use of standards and technical specifications in order to reap the benefits of broader, more interoperable markets and systems, and greater network effects for technology that they can bring."
The Rolling Plan also focusses on the use of standards to ensure interoperability and to avoid being locked-in to ICT technology. Here, the report aims to support the EC's actions on good ICT procurement practices. Earlier this year, the EC published its "Guide for the procurement of standards-based ICT – Elements of Good Practice". "The Rolling Plan supports this Guide by identifying available standardisation activities, standards and technical specifications in areas with policy relevance."