(Expanding on a previous post)
PEPPOL is not a beverage or a miraculous cleaning powder. It stands for Pan-European Public Procurement On Line and is a European collaborative project funded by the European Commission and engaging several EU member states, which aims to increase the ability of suppliers in a given member state to respond to procurement requests coming from a public sector entity in a different member state. This does make a lot of sense to improve the functioning of the internal European market, which is one of the key objectives of the European Union itself. It is also fair to say that having a broader set of suppliers responding to requests for proposals (RFP) is likely to give more choice and ultimately a better price.
On the other hand, at a moment in time when businesses struggle and unemployment rises, the case for spending one member state’s government money with another member state’s supplier is considerably weaker than it was just a few years ago.
Is PEPPOL going to help the EU enforce public procurement rules or will it be teethless to face the increasing selfishness of countries trying to keep money within their borders?
Also, as government organizations strive to get more value for money from what they buy, there are innovative ways to do so, such as using social software and supporting an earlier engagement of suppliers in the procurement process.
- the co-creation of the RFP by the purchasing government organization and most of the potential suppliers;
- applying idea contests to refine very high-level requirements in order to turn them into something closer to specification.;
- crowdsourcing part of all of the supplier selection process to improve its quality and prevent corruption.
and so forth.
Think about bringing the benefits of competitive dialogue earlier in the procurement process, so that (1) the cost of producing the RFP is reduced, (2) the time to respond to the RFP is compressed (as suppliers already have plenty of information), (3) the whole process is far more transparent and (4) the overall price is likely to be lower.
Is PEPPOL doing anything in this area?