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New Public Sector eProcurement Standard

14 April 2003

The Government has set out new proposals to standardise the exchange of electronic purchasing information between public sector information systems and government suppliers.

The Cabinet Office has put forward plans to adopt a standard structure for eProcurement data which will become part of the mandatory technical policies and specifications underpinning the UK's eGovernment strategy.

A draft document, released last week, summarised what it described as "the functional requirements for an interoperability standard to support eProcurement throughout the public sector".

According to the paper, common standards would help to reduce re-keying of information and assist suppliers trading with the public sector electronically.

To promote early implementation, the draft specification focuses on simple Purchase Order and Invoice forms, regarded as the "two most important" of the 15 different types of document that can be required during the procurement process. "Buyers and sellers are expected to introduce these documents incrementally. implementing additional services as required", the paper states.

The work is being undertaken within the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) e-Commerce team, which reports to a high-level working group, jointly facilitated by the OGC and the Office of the e-Envoy, that was set up last year. Subject to their approval, the standards will be incorporated into future versions of the eGovernment Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) to which all public sector information systems must comply.

A revised draft document will be published on the Govtalk website later this week.

Download the consultation document

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