Are you ready for eProcurement? - EBRD

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Are you ready for eProcurement? Guide to Electronic Procurement Reform

Are you ready for eProcurement? Guide to Electronic Procurement Reform

Are you ready for eProcurement?

Guide to Electronic Procurement Reform

2015

Are you ready for eProcurement? Guide to Electronic Procurement Reform 4

Preface

Electronic procurement in the public sector (eProcurement) is the business-to-government tendering and sale of goods, services and works through online platforms as well as other networking systems, such as electronic data interchange and procurement planning facilities. Typically, eProcurement solutions allow for registered and qualified economic operators – suppliers and contractors active in the market – to compete for public contracts in response to tenders published online by contracting entities. In essence, eProcurement replaces traditional bureaucratic paper-based public procurement procedures with interactive online processes (online e-tendering and reverse e-auctions) making procurement processes accessible to all interested suppliers and contractors, uniform, less time consuming and cheaper for all stakeholders. In 2010 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), through its Legal Transition Programme, conducted an assessment of public procurement regulatory frameworks in the EBRD countries of operations. The assessment highlighted that much of the recorded “success stories” in public procurement reforms was linked to the implementation of electronic procurement and that since the 2008 financial crisis governments’ interest in electronic procurement has increased. In addition to rapid eProcurement reform, as observed in Albania and Georgia, several national public procurement regulatory frameworks have gradually been updated to include electronic solutions for the public procurement sector (Armenia, Cyprus, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Lithuania and Turkey). The EBRD would welcome a greater take-up of electronic procurement within its countries of operations and since 2012 the EBRD Legal Transition Programme supports technical cooperation projects related to electronic procurement reforms. These projects involved designing eProcurement reform strategies and road maps (Armenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine), drafting new eProcurement legislation, developing acquisition plans for eProcurement tools as well as providing business and policy advice during implementation of national reform projects (Armenia, Tajikistan, Ukraine). We advocate reforming public procurement so that it is more open and accessible to international trade through more extensive application of information and communication technology (electronic procurement) for public sector. Where eProcurement tools are available, business-to-government transactions can be initiated, advertised, tendered and completed online, with real time recording of the decision making process available for monitoring and audit, while bureaucracy and formalities are kept to an absolute minimum.

Preface 5 With online eProcurement procedures in place, new electronic procurement tools (which cannot be efficiently exploited without an e-commerce environment) can be employed: eauctions1, e-purchasing based on framework agreements2 or e-catalogues3. In addition to purely economic advantages, the eProcurement procedures link financial planning and public finance management with procurement and public contract management, creating “‘a money tracking system’” for the public sector. However, to achieve the best results eProcurement reform has to be a part of the sector reform process, with correctly applied eProcurement tools. Successful adoption of eProcurement policy requires the revision of national public procurement legislation to make it “‘technology neutral”’, and to enable e-commerce by government entities, re-defining procurement eligibility rules and prequalification procedures as well as tendering process. The aim of this guide is to provide information on and assistance