The PROCURE project aims at enabling the dissemination of the e-tendering platform used in Burgundy in others European regions, to create a first interregional network of shared e-procurement platforms.
By strengthening access to information and making possible direct e-tendering and e-bidding, these interregional shared platforms would simplify both the work of persons in charge of public procurement and local economic operators (especially SMEs) with public bodies.
PROCURE will also explore cross-borders issues linked to interoperability and legal framework in compliance with the Lisbon Agenda.
Weak dissemination and lack of competition are the main problems that the public entities have to tackle while organizing calls for bids. Also, many companies and especially the smallest of them are often prone to not participate in the public supplies because of fragmented tenders and complicated paperwork. However, the communication technologies allow a new approach to the public purchasing, leveraging on the dematerialization of procurement procedures.
The PROCURE project has for primary objective to adapt, develop and deploy the existing Burgundy public procurement dematerialization service (www.e-bourgogne.fr). By launching new regional e-procurement websites, this solution will provide a wide range of new useful tools such as a trans-European functionality or a space to share best practices.
To ensure the effective adoption of the solution by local actors, the deployment will be preceded by studies on national law and on the market issues in each region. Then, all appropriate channels will be used to communicate with the targeted groups. Furthermore, experiments are conducted simultaneously in all of the regions, but with local management providing speedy feedback and adjustments which will allow the PROCURE solution to remain as close as possible to local market expectations.
Policy context :
Over the period 2006-2010, European Commissionâ€™s emphasis will be put on high-impact services designed around citizensâ€™ and businessesâ€™ needs, which support progress towards the Lisbon strategy. eProcurement is one such, proven high impact service. In this context, European Commission has issued in December 2004 an action plan regarding e-procurement development in Europe.
PROCURE will contribute to the deployment of e-tendering in local administrations in several EU regions and may be considered as an input for the PEPPOL project focusing more on the member states.
CE has in particular issued 2 directives regarding e-procurement:
- Directive 2004-18-CE which set-up a common framework around public procurement procedures through Europe,
- Directive 1999-93-CE which set-up a common framework around e-signature through Europe.
As our project deals also with tenders below the European threshold, we will analyse their specificities regarding our pilots national legislations on public procurement and use of the e-signature.
Directive 1999-93-CE is a matter of concern since it is yet very partially transposed in national legislations and e-signature recognition between MS is legally unclear. This is an issue for PROCURE regarding the experimentation of cross-border e-tendering.
The service is targeting:
- Public purchasers from local authorities of the 5 pilot regions (municipalities, regions, schools, hospitals, ...),
- Enterprises (in particular small and medium sized ones) all over Europe.
PROCURE project is run by a consortium of public and private bodies:
- The local authority having previously experimented the service on the e-bourgogne platform and which coordinates the project: the Burgundy Region,
- The local authorities where the service is to be market validated: Uddevalla Municipality, CSI-Piemonte (Piedmont), Megalis Bretagne (Britanny), Guadeloupe Region and Central Bohemia Region,
- The IT company which implemented the service in Burgundy Region and which will manage the technical part of all pilots implementation and the deployments in Brittany and Guadeloupe: Atexo
- The consulting company which will be in charge of the initial studies and of the deployments in Piedmont and Central Bohemia: Sopra Group
- The IT company which will be in charge of the deployment in Uddevalla Municipality: Marakanda
- The entity which will be in charge of all the legal studies: the University of Bremen
- The consular which will be in charge of coordinating the local CCIâ€™s networks: CCIP (Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris â€“ France)
A steering committee composed of the Burgundy regional council, Sopra Group and Atexo is in charge of the global management of the project.
The technical platform and associated service (hosting, hotline and maintenance) is presently provided by a French service provider (Atexo).
As the IT solution is open source, released under the GNU General Public License, a European structure can be created in order to gather and redistribute evolutions carried out by the different users all over Europe and check for the global coherence of the solution.
Main technologies used: PHP /MySQL /OpenSSL /NuSOAP
- Continuation of the deployment of the e-procurement in other EU regions and of the deployment of e-government through the concept of a shared regional platform offering e-services to local authorities,
- Experimentation of cross-border e-procurement and cross-border recognition of e-signature,
- Contribution to the standardization of public procurement procedures and processes in Europe,
- Contribution to a better participation of the SMEs in public procurement.
Feed-backs are expected on:
- European market maturity to adopt and deploy in a large scale a shared e-procurement solution
- Ways to tackle e-signature acknowledgement between MS and to increase public procurement between MS
- Ways to deploy e-procurement and more broadly e-government services in LAs and to gather LAs around a shared tool
- Ways to deploy e-procurement in companies (especially SMEs) using innovative tools (e-learning for instance)
- Ways to encourage cooperation between MS public buyers and encourage standardization of procurement processes (even below EU thresholds) in the MS
Possible opportunities of legal evolutions beyond the PROCURE project:
- To enable cross-border e-signature
- To ease cross-border in standardizing processes
- To fully complete CE directive transposition
The project is releasing most of its deliverables, including legal studies on its website (www.eten-procure.com) and gladly participates in meetings or exchange sessions with other projects or institutions.
Furthermore, the PROCURE project aims at delivering as much input as possible to projects such as PEPPOL.
Please feel free to ask any unanswered questions or requests at email@example.com .
As anticipated, this kind of service has a high impact on both public administration and local economic operators and request a great involvement of all actors. Also, the local concentrator model and the sharing of costs and bests practices between LAs proves to be an efficient solution, but it takes a great dedication and a strong political impulsion from the regional level to associate all the concerned parties in this strategy.