New online database to help companies secure government work

The EU unveils a new tool for companies tendering for government business

Companies bidding for government business in the E.U. will soon be able to use a new Web-based tool to simplify the paperwork associated with their proposals.

E-CERTIS is a free online database that stores the most frequently requested documents that companies need to complete in order to bid for government business in all 27 member states. It allows users to quickly find documents relating to their own country.

The database will include forms for showing compliance with fiscal obligations or social security obligations or evidence of economic and financial standing. It is hoped that E-CERTIS will also help businesses to make sense of the different certificates required in different countries. It should also reduce the cost of tendering.

"The European Commission has always promoted the use of information and communication technology in public procurement," said Internal Market Commissioner, Michel Barnier. "Our evaluation shows that where it is being used, it increases the speed and efficiency of public purchasing while significantly cutting the costs when participating in tenders. However, we are only at the beginning of a long road. A push is needed at all levels. I am ready to do my bit to harness the enormous potential that IT offers for modernizing and simplifying public procurement in the E.U."

On Monday, the European Commission also launched a public consultation on e-procurement. The Commission published a paper identifying the obstacles to e-procurement including the need to upgrade IT systems and asked interested parties to suggest solutions. Respondents have until Jan. 31, 2011 to submit their ideas.

Last year, more than 150,000 contracts were advertised E.U.-wide with an estimated value of around three per cent of the E.U.'s gross domestic product.

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Jennifer Baker

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