Increasing the use of electronic procurement (referred to as ‘e-Procurement’) is of strategic importance for achieving the smart and sustainable growth objective of the EU 2020 Strategy.
First, it can significantly simplify the way procurement is conducted, deliver better procurement outcomes and save costs by improving the efficiency of public expenditure. According to a recent Communication from the European Commission, “Contracting authorities and Public entities that have already implemented e-Procurement report savings of between 5% and 20% of their procurement expenditure. The total size of the EU’s procurement market is estimated to be more than 2 trillion euro, so each 5% saved could result in about 100 billion euro of savings per year”. Additionally, it can improve the transparency and accessibility of tender opportunities and thus increase the participation of SMEs in public procurement procedures. Finally, it can contribute in stimulating greater competition across the Single Market and providing new sources of economic growth and jobs.
Today, Europe is facing a significant gap between the availability and the use of e- Procurement solutions. Such a gap is even more perturbing knowing that the use of e-Government services is in general at a significantly higher level. According to Eurostat, the average usage of e-Procurement by enterprises in the 27 Member States only reached 13% in 2010, while the average usage of e-Government services was higher than 80% the same year.