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e-Procurement

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e-Procurement

The European economy must address the need to reduce public expenditure and to find new sources of economic growth. Full e-procurement could contribute to achieving these objectives.

ACT

Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC.

Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC

Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts

SUMMARY

The transition to e-procurement is part of the modernisation of European rules on public purchasing. A package of three legislative texts was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in April 2014, and these texts enabled the realisation of this transition.

WHAT IS E-PROCUREMENT?

e-Procurement is the use by public sector bodies of electronic means to purchase supplies and services or to launch calls for tenders for public works.

Increased use of e-procurement in Europe enables:

  • the simplification of the functioning of procurement;
  • a reduction in the workload and costs;
  • increased participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • the emergence of better quality and lower prices.

A CLEAR, SIMPLIFIED NEW LEGAL FRAMEWORK

A new legal framework was adopted in April 2014 with a package of three new directives whose essential aims are:

  • to make e-procurement compulsory in certain phases of the procedure and for central purchasing bodies (which centralise orders in the name of the contracting authority); these measures should apply from April 2016 and should be implemented for all contracting authorities in the European Union (EU) from October 2018;
  • to limit the technical barriers to cross-border submissions for public contracts.

The directives establish a clear legal framework which includes aspects in relation to the possible use of electronic signatures. In addition, the directives aim:

  • to strengthen the role of the e-Certis information system on the different certificates and attestations requested in procurement procedures in the 28 EU countries;
  • to provide for exemptions concerning the use of electronic means.

In addition, the directive on awarding concession contracts provides for a simplified system which makes e-procurement optional, even though e-notification is being made obligatory.

Context

In the Single Market Act, the Commission expressed its wish to modernise the EU legal framework relating to public procurement contracts. The economic value of this sector is considerable and the introduction of electronic processes will improve the effectiveness of public procurement contracts.

Further information can be found below:

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: A strategy for e-procurement ( COM(2012) 179 final - Not published in the Official Journal).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: End-to-end e-procurement to modernise public administration ( COM(2013) 453 final - Not published in the Official Journal).

This communication explains the progress achieved in the implementation of e-procurement from the electronic publication of contract notices to electronic payment, as provided for in the 2012 Communication.

Last updated: 09.11.2014

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