The Best e-Procurement Systems for Public Procurement
December 10, 2016
Selecting the right e-procurement system is always a long-lasting puzzle in public institutions, PIUs and International Organizations.
In the world of Public Procurement there are 24 rules to evaluate your procurement software against. If your e-procurement system encompasses 75% - 80% of these rules, you can consider you have a good product. If more – the best in class. If less, you will eventually have to move to another e-procurement solution provider. It’s just a matter of time.
The rules described below (not in order of importance) provide vital parameters for every e-procurement system that aims at organizing and managing open, transparent, effective and fair tenders.
Rule 1: Platforms automatically transmit all their notices to a single point of access for publication
Rule 2: Vendors and contracting authorities benefit from affordable training plans
Rule 3: Platforms have communication plans in place to promote the use of e-Procurement
Rule 4: Vendors can access and retrieve contract notices and tender specifications as anonymous users
Rule 5: Vendors can register on the platform without having to provide country- specific information
Rule 6: Vendors complete their registration on a platform by clicking an activation link sent by email
Rule 7: Platforms support English in addition to the official language(s) of the state(s) where it is used
Rule 8: Vendors can use a username and a password to log in to a platform
Rule 9: Vendors can search contract notices (tenders) using a set of search criteria
Rule 10: Vendors can evaluate whether tender specifications are relevant for them based on information available in contract notices
Rule 11: Vendors are notified of any changes to tender specifications
Rule 12: Platforms support automatic transmission of all types of notices to the main e-procurement platform in the country (unless the platform in question is the main one)
Rule 13: Vendors and contracting authorities can search CPV categories based on their code or their description
Rule 14: Contracting authorities can re-use information contained in their profile or in previous notices to create contract notices, tender specifications and award notices
Rule 15: Vendors can choose to manually or electronically sign a submission report containing the hash value of each submitted document
Rule 16: Vendors receive a proof of delivery upon successful submission of their offer
Rule 17: Vendors can resubmit their offers up until the submission deadline
Rule 18: Platforms keep offers encrypted until the opening session
Rule 19: Contracting authorities can evaluate part of their tenders automatically based on pre- defined criteria
Rule 20: Platforms use recognized e-Signature validation services to validate e-Signatures during e-Submission
Rule 21: Platforms clearly indicate all costs related to use of the platform
Rule 22: Vendors can create offers using a core set of structured data and unstructured documents
Rule 23: Vendors have the freedom to choose the platform of their preference without being locked in by the choice of the contracting authority
Rule 24: Platforms use standard specifications to structure their data and to promote interoperability
These rules are public e-procurement basics and, certainly, each rule can be elaborated and made even better. Today’s market of e-procurement solutions is yet lacking best in class products created specifically for PIUs, public institutions and International Organizations. Therefore, these basic rules are the “scanner” for all new e-procurement platforms marketed to your organization.