Headlines: June 18th, 2003

The development of e-procurement across public services is lagging because of incompatible software that prevents computers talking to each other. The Office for Government Commerce is collaborating with the Business Applications Software Developers Association to break the language barrier. The aim is to generate substantial value for money improvements across government departments and agencies with e-procurement and offer significant process-cost reductions for suppliers.The OGC and BASDA are running trials of standard software to establish common IT standards for e-procurement to allow suppliers and public sector buyers to conduct business online more easily. The software under trial has already been used commercially across Europe. The common vocabulary has cut costs by eliminating re-keying of data.

The trials will establish a common Order and Invoice format that is compatible with other Government standards and all cross government systems will need to comply with the format. It is intended that in future all commercial off the shelf e-procurement IT applications will adopt the standard so that whichever system a supplier chooses to use, they will not be precluded from doing business with the Government through system incompatibility.