UK government stakes out e-procurement future


4 December 2002 The UK government has published a consultation paper specifying the functional requirements for e-procurement technology interoperability in the public sector.

The paper is part of the UK government’s drive to reduce costs and improve public sector services through using Internet technologies. It describes examples of typical e-procurement practices and suggests process models for building e-procurement technology in the public sector

The paper is open to the public, who can respond to the issues raised before the end of the year. It was produced by the eProcurement Interoperability Group, which was set up in March 2002 by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and the Office of the e-Envoy (OeE).

The government hopes that by establishing its own e-procurement standards, it will enable public sector agencies to lower the costs of procuring goods, as well as making it easier for technology vendors to implement e-procurement software for the public sector. At the same time, it also hopes to reduce the risk of public sector agencies getting locked into any one software vendor’s proprietary technology.

It is hoped that the standards will also help make e-procurement more cost effective for small and medium goods suppliers, most of which have yet to adopt such technology.

“A standard for government procurement puts a ‘stake in the ground’ for those businesses [small- and medium-sized suppliers], initially for their trade with government and, potentially later, for trade in the private sector,” states the paper.

The UK government is not alone in trying to create some dialogue about e-government standards. The Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), an Internet standards group, has also just created a committee focusing on e-government standards.

The new e-Gov Technical Committee includes representatives from the Danish Ministry of Science, Ontario Government Canada, UK Ministry of Defence, UK Office of e-Envoy and the US Department of Navy, as well as several software vendors. Special emphasis will be placed on the needs of European Union countries working to deliver aspects of the ‘eEurope 2005’ plan, according to OASIS.

The full document can be viewed here:
e-Procurement functional requirement specification

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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