European Union – Conference on Electronic Sourcing

Procurecon indirect 2012The European Commission and the European Parliament are organising a conference to highlight the opportunities offered by electronic sourcing (eSourcing), which helps to simplify public procurement procedures and to achieve better procurement outcomes as well as better value-for-money in public expenditure.

The conference programme will include:

  • presentations from contracting authorities and companies already using eSourcing tools, from the EU and beyond, explaining the challenges they had to overcome and the benefits they have obtained;
  • a panel of senior European policy-makers and business people discussing the potential of eSourcing to address current economic and political challenges faced by the EU;
  • presentations on the eSourcing landscape in Europe, including eSourcing solutions and best practices in the marketplace.
The eSourcing conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium, in the European Parliament on Tuesday, 26 June 2012.

More information can be found at Conference on Electronic Procurement – Challenges and Opportunities.

This conference is part of an effort by the European Commission to modernize European public procurement to support growth and employment.

The proposed reform aims to thoroughly modernise the existing tools and instruments.

1. The main objective is to simplify rules and procedures and make them more flexible. Therefore, the Commission proposes in particular:

  • the possibility of increased recourse to negotiation, thus enabling the contracting authorities to purchase goods and services which are better tailored to their needs at the best price;
  • the extension and, in the medium term, generalisation of electronic communication in public procurement, since it offers an essential means of simplifying public tendering;
  • a drastic cut in the administrative burden, including the number of documents required from economic operators, thereby making their lives easier.

2. Encourage access to public procurement for SMEs: access will be increased and made easier through measures to cut the administrative burden and strong incentives to divide tenders into lots and limit the financial capacity requirements for the submission of a tender.

3. At the same time, the proposed reform aims to facilitate a qualitative improvement in the use of public procurement by ensuring greater consideration for social and environmental criteria such as life-cycle costs or the integration of vulnerable and disadvantaged persons, thereby helping to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

4. The reform also includes:

  • improvements to the existing guarantees aimed at combating conflicts of interest, favouritism and corruption in order to better ensure the integrity of procedures, given the financial implications;
  • the appointment by the Member States of a single national authority responsible for monitoring, performing and checking public contracts to ensure that the rules are properly applied in practice.

EU commissioner for internal markets and services, Michel Barnier, said: “It’s time to act. eSourcing represents a significant untapped potential for the EU economy. It can simplify the way procurement is conducted, reduce burdens and costs, increase the participation of SMEs and deliver better quality and lower prices. The sooner the transition is initiated, the sooner we will reap the benefits offered by eSourcing.”

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