Dynamising the procurement market of digital solutions: a catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement

By Fabio Massimo, SBS expert. The European Commission announced that it will create a European Catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement by the end of 2017.

In the fast- evolving ICT market , the Commission identified the need for improve the interoperability of digital public services enabling an easier and faster flow and interchange of data and a greater reuse across States of software tools.

This action aims at helping National Governments to take smart procurement decisions, heightening efficiency by increasing interoperability and reducing costs. The EC highlight that 42% of European Public procurers is bound to a single services provider by lack of interoperability. 26% of tenders receive only one offer and 12% of digital public tenders contains references to specific supplier or trademark which prevents an advantageous competition. In addition, collaboration and interchange of digital products among public administrations of different countries are very uncommon.

Procurers can use standards to different proposes: increase interoperability and reuse of applications, lowering costs and improving the quality of products and services. However, the use of standards in public procurement differs considerably from country to country and different national and, often, regional or local laws are a barriers to a well functioning internal market.

SMEs are particularly disadvantaged. The lack of standards, different procurements rules and laws in different European countries entail prohibitive costs and prevent them from adapting their services to different markets . A Catalogue of voluntary standards for public procurement is a step to help SMEs overcome the barriers and enter the Public market by lowering costs and simplifying access.

Find out more about the catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement