EU to Focus on Public Procurement, IT & Standards

The EU has just launched a Call for Tender on "Guidelines for public procurement of ICT goods and services". This follows the Digital Agenda issued in 2010 which says:

Public authorities should make best use of the full range of relevant standards when procuring hardware, software and IT services, for example by selecting standards which can be implemented by all interested suppliers, allowing for more competition and reduced risk of lock-in (page 15).

The study asked for should prepare the ground for a Communication promised as Digital Agenda "Action 23: Provide guidance on ICT standardisation and public procurement". The EU wants a study with (1) procurement practices overview, (2) options for standards based procurement, and (3) impact assessment preparation. Tenders should cost no more than € 200K, and the submission deadline is 15 April 2011 at 16:00:00 Brussels time.

May there be a host of bidders and may the best be the winner. Why? Because procurement is important. This is why I have taken the initiative to create the Procurement, IT & Standards (PITS) community which now will become even more important as a sounding board to the Commission and to the Study (regardless who wins the tender, one would hope).

The Digital Agenda Stakeholder Community on Procurement, IT & Standards (PITS), backed by individuals as well as the organizations APRIL, ECIS, ESOP, FSFE, OASIS, Openforum Europe and W3C, and with several governments as observers (there is still room for others to join) will present its broad findings at the EU's Digital Agenda Assembly on 16-17 June 2011--well before the study will present even preliminary findings.

PITS aims to be key contributors to Digital Agenda' s Action 23: Provide guidance on ICT standardisation and public procurement. We also aim to contribute to other EU actions on interoperability and standards, including implementing interoperability frameworks and European fora/consortia standards referencing, as well as the ongoing reform of the EU Public Procurement directives.

Detailed guidance is needed on how to analyse a technology buyer's requirements to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications, to help public procurers to properly refer to standards in their tender specifications. PITS members should post advice, analysis, news, opinions, and work towards a public presentation at the Digital Agenda Assembly on 16-17 June 2011. Participation as an observer is also possible, and some governments choose this option.

Sign up to PITS. Tell your friends. Promote standards. Change the IT procurement world.

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About

Trond Undheim, Ph.D, Director of Standards Strategy and Policy at the Oracle Corporation, speaker, entrepreneur, blogger, and author, is one of the world’s leading experts on technology and society. LinkedIn profile

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