Modernise and Streamline Business Interaction
7 January 2013 by Ashton Carter
On 26 June 2013, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced initiatives on e-invoicing and e-procurement in order to modernise and streamline business interaction. The Commission has published a Communication which discusses the benefits of “end-to-end” e-procurement. “End-to-end” e-procurement refers to the entire process from publication, electronically, of tender notices to electronic payment of selected contractors.
In addition, the Commission has proposed a directive on e-invoicing in public procurement (which is not covered by the current or proposed public procurement rules). Under the proposed directive, contracting authorities or entities would be required to accept e-invoices that comply with a new European standard. The Communication sets out various other measures to facilitate and promote e-procurement and e-invoicing, including standardisation work, the development of national e-procurement strategies and the sharing of best practice.
The Commission considers that the transition to end-to-end e-procurement can generate significant savings and facilitate structural re-thinking of certain areas of public administration. It also enables economic growth and competitiveness by opening up the internal market and by fostering innovation and simplification. Further, end-to-end e-procurement can facilitate SME participation in public procurement by reducing the administrative burden, by increasing transparency over business opportunities, and by lowering participation costs.
The proposed directive requires transposition within 48 months of its entry into force. The proposed directive provides that the Commission will review and report on the effects of the directive on the internal market and on the uptake of e-invoicing in public procurement by 30 June 2023.
Source: Practical Law
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