Headlines: March 10th, 2000

On line procurement has taken a step forward with the launch of an Internet tendering system. Public bodies can now post invitations to tender and receive responses over the Internet.The system provides top level security so that confidentiality is maintained at all stages. Procurement professionals can post the invitation to tender into a virtual vault which acts as a safe deposit box. Specified suppliers will then be automatically notified that the invitation has been posted. Suppliers will be able to identify themselves digitally to gain access to the tender. They will also gain access to the vault to deliver their response. Once the closing date has been reached, the procurement professional will access all the tenders simultaneously.

The system, which has been developed by BT and BiP, a provider of public sector contract information, will increase the speed of business processes and transactions and reduce the cost of document distribution for public bodies and suppliers.

This is the first business to government e-tendering system to be developed in Europe and it has been designed to that it can be used by all EU member states.