29 October 2008 | Paul Snell
The European Commission has launched a service to help public sector buyers and software firms with the development of e-procurement systems.
The Commission has set up a helpdesk for those who wish to adapt and customise the free, open-source software "e-procurement demonstrators". These demonstrators are simulations of e-procurement software that can be modified to create e-procurement systems that follows EU purchasing rules.
The helpdesk is available for those who have signed up to the EU's "epractice" website at http://www.epractice.eu/info/84/6. An updated version of the demonstrators software will be available in mid-November this year.
Siim Kallas, commissioner for administrative affairs, audit and anti-fraud, said the helpdesk, as well as other EU e-procurement projects such as PEPPOL - the plan to join up e-procurement systems across the continent - would help cross-border work.
Kallas also said he believed European government had met targets set in 2005 to make public procurement available online and used in at least half of cases by 2010.