Fabian Demicoli

Rapporteur’s meeting on e-Procurement

 Mr Vince Farrugia as EESC Rapporteur on the Commission Green Paper on expanding the use of eProcurement in the EU, has this week met Heide Ruehle Rapporteur from the side  of the European Parliament with the aim of exchanging views on each other's draft reports. A couple of major issues arose:


eProcurement policy should embrace all procurements – below and above thresholds. Mr Farrugia argued that we need to provide facilities at national, regional and local level so that SMEs would have facilitated participate in Procurment through electronic system. SMEs are finding it extremely hard to collect a multiplicity of documents which would be easily accessible though the eProcurement service.

If eProcurement should become mandatory on Member States or not. The set EU target was that by 2010 at least 50% of public procurement will be carried out electronically. The Commission however evaluates that less than 5% of the Member States' procurement budgets is awarded through e-procurement. This is a big failure and those suffering most are SMEs as they have the tremendous potential to service projects but unless facilitated it becomes an insurmountable obstacle.

Security Certification: Vince Farrugia argued that The authentication model that one adopts should be directly correlated to the level of security to be applied for the e-service introduced. A digital certification security framework should be adopted only when the level of risk requires such protection.

As a politician Ms Ruehle has strong reservations on the issue of thresholds. The general understanding reached at end of the meeting is that the best solution is to go in a well worded instigation of strong leadership and guidance by the Commission so that through a process of actions new desirable targets should be achieved.

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