The Golden Book of e-Procurement in the press recently published an article in French on the Golden Book. Read it here. The article gives some examples of good practices, such as:

  • Practice 7: Platforms support English in addition to the official language(s) of the member state(s) where they operate
  • Practice 11: Economic operators are notified of any changes to tender specifications
  • Practice 17: Economic operators can resubmit their tenders up until the submission deadline

The article also presents some of practices to be avoided that were included as anecdotes and “Don’t” in the Golden Book.

Finally, the article finishes by mentioning the e-Tendering Expert Group (e-TEG) report, another initiative of DG MARKT, complementary with the Golden Book. e-TEG developed a “blueprint” for an ideal pre-award e-Procurement system. Using this blueprint as a model, the Expert Group presented recommendations in their report.

In a comment on this article, a reader discusses Practice 7 and its recommendation for platforms to support English. What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know by leaving a comment below this article or by using the Golden Book feedback form.

Conference on e-procurement and e-invoicing in the EU

Modernising public administration: the role of e-procurement and e-invoicing

The European Commission is organising a conference on the contribution of e-procurement and e-invoicing in the context of the modernisation of public administration. Both e-procurement and e-invoicing are key tools contributing to the rationalisation of public expenditure and making the public administration more efficient.

The conference programme will include presentations from policy makers as well as contracting authorities and companies that are already using e-procurement and e-invoicing. It will also include a panel including high level European policy-makers, academics and business representatives discussing the potential impact of e-procurement and e-invoicing on the delivery of efficiency in public administrations, and how best to manage the transition so as to avoid the creation of new barriers and exploit their full potential.

The draft conference programme will be available on the conference website in the near future.

When and where?

Room AB-OA
Albert Borschette Congress Center
Rue Froissart 36
1040 Brussels
– Belgium –

Who should attend?

This conference is primarily for elected representatives, policy makers, and senior decision-makers from local, regional and national authorities that are considering the implementation of e-procurement tools, as well as suppliers of e-procurement or e-invoicing solutions.

The conference may also be of interest to Directors and senior managers from companies seeking to understand electronic procurement and e-invoicing tools as a means to exploit business opportunities across the EU.

Please note that, in its recent proposal on modernising public procurement directives, the European Commission proposes making the use of e-procurement a requirement for all contracting authorities and entities across the EU. The deadline for the introduction of e-procurement is being negotiated with the Council and the European Parliament.

To register for the conference, please visit the conference website.

The final results of the e-Procurement Golden Book of Good Practice are now available online

We are pleased to announce that the final results of the e-Procurement Golden Book of Good Practice have been published and are now available on DG MARKT’s web pages. The full report is also available for download here.

The study consists of a set of 24 good practices that have been extracted, classified and organised into a catalogue of good practices. The information contained in the presented practices is based on observations and lessons learnt from an in-depth assessment of 28 e-Procurement platforms in 18 European countries.

Our sincere thanks go to all the e-Procurement platform owners and experts who shared their knowledge and thinking with us. Their active and candid participation is the single greatest factor in the success of this study.

We are interested in your feedback and would like to invite you to send your comments, thoughts or ideas either by commenting on this post below or by filling in this feedback form.

What happens next?

A self-assessment survey aimed at helping you assess your platform will be made available online shortly by the study team.

Take part in the European Public Sector Award

The European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA) has recently launched a call for applications for the European Public Sector Award – EPSA 2013.

Target groups

All European public sector institutions from all levels, as well as public sector enterprises, agencies or public-private partnerships are eligible to submit their projects for the award.

Period of consultation

From 25.01.2013 to 12.05.2013

Objectives of the call for applications

The call (entitled “Weathering the Storm: Creative Solutions in a Time of Crisis”) concerns the provision of innovative solutions and projects in delivering public services, by designing better process or bringing new structural solutions.

This call presents a significant opportunity for European administrations to showcase their innovative performance and achievements to an extensive audience, and to be recognised for being at the forefront of their field at the European level.

As e-Procurement solutions seem to fit well in the context and as e-Procurement contributes greatly to the progress of public administrations’ performance, we would like to encourage e-Procurement solution providers to respond to this call!

How to submit your contribution

For further information on the call, eligibility criteria, and methodology, please consult

Last chance to contribute to the e-Procurement Golden Book

At the end of last year DG MARKT published an advanced draft of its e-Procurement Golden Book of Good Practice online and invited all public authorities, citizens, enterprises and organisations to contribute to it. DG MARKT also arranged a Seminar on Electronic Procurement on 14 December 2012, during which the advanced draft was presented and discussed.

We received many helpful and constructive comments and would like to thank all the contributors for their valuable input!

If you still have ideas or would like to contribute to the e-Procurement Golden Book you still have the opportunity to do so until the 21 January 2013. Please provide them via:

The Golden Book is open for comments until 21 January 2013.

Thank you again for your valuable input!

Golden Book presentation at the Seminar on Electronic Procurement

The video of the Golden Book presentation at the Seminar on Electronic Procurement organised by DG MARKT on the 14th December 2012 is now available online.

The objectives of the Seminar were to:

  • Present the non-legislative work carried out by DG MARKT in the area of e-procurement.
  • Discuss the results of this work with participants and receive their feedback.

During the seminar, participants had the opportunity to provide feedback and influence the results of the initiatives commissioned by DG MARKT. One of these initiatives is the Golden Book of e-Procurement.

During her presentation, Kelly Liljemo:

  • gave background information on the Golden Book project;
  • explained the method used to select the e-Procurement Good Practices;
  • presented the results of the Golden Book project.

The video and the presentation of the Golden Book project can be found below:

The video of the full Seminar can be found here.

Share your thoughts and comments:

DG MARKT publishes the Golden Book of e-Procurement good practices

DG MARKT of the European Commission has recently published a draft version of the Golden Book of e-Procurement good practices. It consists of a set of 24 good practices helping contracting authorities and economic operators to successfully use e-Procurement in Europe.

E-Procurement is enabled in the EU Member States’ national legislations and infrastructure and tools are, in general, in place. Yet, the Commission estimates that, on average, less than 5% of total procurement budgets in the first‐mover Member States is awarded through electronic systems” (Green Paper on expanding the use of eProcurement in the EU).

In order to facilitate the uptake of e-Procurement in Europe, the EC On April 2012 the European Commission adopted a communication setting out a strategy to make the use of e-procurement (including e-Tendering) the rule in the EU by mid-2016. The approval of these new Directives is expected by early 2013. However, these recent legislative proposals alone are not a sufficient condition for the successful implementation of e-Procurement in the European Union.

A number of non-legislative flanking measures are needed in order to support the Member States in their transition to full e-Procurement in a single market. Any such flanking measures or other future intervention by the Commission should be enhanced by lessons learned from the ‘field’ so it can be relevant and overcome current barriers efficiently and effectively.

While the average level of e-Procurement usage is low, there are still valuable lessons to be learnt. E-Procurement good practices are present all over Europe, but are difficult to identify. The e-Procurement Golden Book aims at making them available in a single point of access, helping contracting authorities and economic operators to successfully practice e-Procurement.

The Golden Book contains 24 good practices which were derived from our analysis. An advanced draft version is now available online.

 Get involved

1st European Conference on e-Public Procurement

On the 20th of March 2013, the Technical University of Lisbon organises a conference on electronic public Procurement in Barcelona. Similar to the Golden Book of e-Procurement Good Practices, the conference aims at disseminating and improving e-Procurement practices in Europe. Among other, the conference will host an exhibition of “best-of-breed” services of e-Procurement platforms.

Electronic public Procurement generates more than 17% of European GDP. It plays a strategic role for the European economy, facilitating:

  • Generation of public savings through improved sourcing and more effective competition between suppliers;
  • Increase of transparency and fair decision making to award public contracts;
  • SMEs to participate in public markets;

The European Commission proposed new Directives for Public Procurement on December 2011 introducing mandatory e-public procurement after 2016 (including e-tendering) and the approval of these new Directives is expected before this conference being held in Barcelona.

Today, there is already an increasing market of platforms offering procurement services as SaaS (Software as a Service) supported by more robust and mature ICT and pursuing the “cloud computing” paradigm. Yet, in order to meet the challenges of financial stability and sustainable growth of the European Union, priority should be given to improve practices around e-public procurement. Hence, the objectives of this 1st European Conference on e-Public Procurement and 1st Exhibition of European e-Platforms are to:

  • Discuss the implications of the single digital market on public procurement; Presenting the new advances of e-procurement available through Software as a Service (SaaS);
  • Discuss the role of e-procurement to improve the management of each organization; Identifying major macro-economic benefits due to the dissemination of e-public procurement;
  • Discuss alternative strategies to simplify and to overcome e-procurement obstacles;
  • Analyse the new European Directives for e-public procurement;
  • Present e-procurement impacts on innovation and on SMEs access to public markets;
  • Propose new initiatives to increase cross-border public procurement.

For more information, please consult the programme of the conference.

Golden Book of e-Procurement Survey Shows Great Results

1. Introduction: about the survey

In the context of the Golden Book project, the European Commission has run a survey inviting everyone who has used an e-Procurement platform as a bidder to contribute to the Golden Book of e-Procurement good practices. The objective was to collect information on:

  • What is important to the users of e-Procurement platforms in the bidder role; and
  • How the e-Procurement platform(s) the bidders have used meet their expectations

After more than 1 month, the survey has now officially been closed and the results are very interesting. This post aims at summarizing the main insights that were gained.

2. The survey results shows Enthusiasm and Engagement for the Golden Book

e-Procurement platforms users from all around Europe were particularly engaged in sharing their needs and expectations and collaborating in the e-Procurement Golden Book of Good Practices.

Number of respondents: 936 people from 25 different countries responded to our end-user survey, with the majority of the respondents coming from Europe.

The respondents are composed of a large majority of 804 private companies, and some respondents from public administrations, e-Procurement platforms or non-profit organisations.

3. The survey results confirm the Relevance and Usefulness of the Golden Book

The results of the survey show trends confirming the need for a Golden Book and will help the European Commission identifying major gaps, valuing and prioritising future best practices. Please find below our main findings:

The majority of respondents are SMEs: The majority of the 804 private companies who answered the survey are small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The survey confirms barriers for the use of e-Submission: This graph shows the number of respondents who indicated using electronic submission for a specific % of their tenders. The U-shape of the graph tends to confirm the presence of barriers for the use of e-Submission.

Majority of respondents use few platforms: Most respondents only use one or two platforms. This could suggest that central e-Procurement platforms receive more tenders per call than platforms belonging to individual contracting authorities.

Several e-Procurement platforms’ features present major areas for improvement.

Our survey aimed to determine which features of e-Procurement platforms are the most or least valued by the end-users. By aggregating the answers of all our respondents, we obtained the following ranking:

End-users prefer affordability and ease of use over security and post-award functionalities.

We also obtained information on how well the features were implemented in e-Procurement platforms, according to the end-users. This information was mapped to the value awarded to the features by the end-users to identify areas for improvement.

Quadrant analysis

Features in the lower left quadrant are poorly implemented but not valued. Features in the upper right are highly valued and generally well implemented. In the lower right quadrant are features which are valued by end-users but poorly implemented. These features constitute the biggest areas for improvement for e-Procurement platforms in Europe, according to the surveyed end-users.

4. Conclusion

These results will be used to validate the findings of the Golden Book study on e-Procurement. Additionally, the list of Good Practices featured in the Golden Book will be selected based on their potential for improvement identified in the survey.

For more information about the Golden Book and the results of end-user survey, join us at the Seminar on Electronic Procurement organised by the European Commission on 14 December.

Consultation on e-Invoicing in public procurement

The European Commission invites public authorities, citizens, enterprises, and organisations to contribute to its consultation on e-Invoicing in public procurement.

The consultation is open from 22.10.2012 to 14.01.2013 and aims to gather views and information on the use of e-Invoicing in public procurement and on the perceived need of action at EU level. The European Commission also aims to gather information on the most appropriate solutions to promote the uptake of B2G e-Invoicing and to enhance interoperability between the various national proprietary systems.

More information and instructions on how to submit your contribution can be accessed via the following link: