Pillar 1 - 5. Prototype for a European Catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement

Prototype for a European Catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement

Potential of action

The ICT Procurement market is quite significant; EUR 50.3 billion in the EU. Yet, public procurement of digital solutions falls short. Almost half of public procurers (42%) feel locked in to a specific vendor, because detailed knowledge about how the system works is available only to the provider, so that when they need to buy new components or licences only that provider can deliver. This lack of competition leads to higher prices and some € 1.1 billion per year is lost unnecessarily in the public sector alone[1].

Description of action

The objective of the European Catalogue is to provide a one-stop-shop at the EU level to support and guide public procurers when referring to ICT standards and profiles of standards in their call for tenders. This should help drive the adoption of European standards, while ensuring progressive convergence on the use of ICT standards by public procurers, increasing interoperability and reducing market fragmentation. The Commission coordinated with Member States the development of a prototype for a European Catalogue of ICT standards for public procurement to support interoperability in the acquisition of digital solutions by encouraging the reference to common sets of ICT standards and profiles in Public Procurers' calls for tenders.

A prototype of this catalogue, covering four domains (eGovernment, Electronic Tolling Systems, Cloud Computing and Energy Efficiency), has been developed and published.

The published catalogue is a collection of best practices, providing public procurers with easy-to-use procurement material to acquire interoperable solutions, reduce costs via reuse, and promote the 7 eGovernment principles, including the once-only principle (linked to EIF, sharing & re-use, re-use of CEF building blocks in public procurement). 

The  public procurement package contains a  further reference to the catalogue since its recommendation on the professionalisation of public procurement promotes a 'strategic approach to digitalisation through standardisation, sharing, reuse and interoperability of products and services particularly through using existing IT solutions available at EU level, as well as contributing to developing instruments such as an online catalogue of ICT standards for procurement'.

Further work on the catalogue is not planned at this stage.  The enhancement of the prototype may be considered in future based on a strong support and commitment to its deployment by the public procurers community.


Main responsible at the European Commission: DG GROW

Target date: Q2 2017

Status: Completed. The initiative, as proposed by the Commission in the Action Plan, has been achieved. This does not however, mean that the action is fully implemented across the EU.

More info (website):  https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/community/european_catalogue/home


[1] Against lock-in: building open ICT systems by making better use of standards in public procurement, COM(2013) 455 final

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