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7.5. E-procurement

Governments increasingly adopt and use digital technologies in the public sector to unlock efficiency gains and support effective implementation and monitoring of policies. Public procurement systems are also going through digital transformation. In particular, electronic procurement (e-procurement) helps increase the transparency and competitiveness of the processes and hold public authorities more accountable. Furthermore, it accelerates the process, reduces the transaction costs for both public and private sectors, and also facilitates access to public procurement opportunities, and enables collection of consistent, up-to-date and reliable data.

Governments in the Western Balkan region have harnessed the use of digital technologies in public procurement but to varying degrees. They particularly use the e-procurement systems as means to disseminate public procurement information and documents. The most widely supported functionalities of e-procurement systems are publishing procurement plans (100%), announcing tenders (100%), provision of tender documents (100%), and notification of award (100%). These governments have central e-procurement systems in place, and tailored-made e-procurement systems used by specific procuring entities are rarely observed in the region. North Macedonia, for instance, has a central e-procurement system, the use of which is mandatory for publishing contract notices and tender documents for all contracts covered by the public procurement law. Similarly, all tenders in Kosovo are announced in their central e-procurement system.

E-procurement systems’ functions comprise not only dissemination of information but also digitalisation of the interaction and communication between contracting authorities and suppliers. However, e-procurement systems in the region less often support functionalities related to this latter function. Electronic submission of bids are only supported in three – Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia have plans to introduce this functionalities to their e-procurement systems. Countries in the Western Balkan region do not appear to use online catalogues or electronic submission of invoices, whereas their use is supported in either central e-procurement systems or those of specific procuring entities in more than half of OECD countries.

In terms of the procurement cycle, the e-procurement systems’ functionalities support planning stages up to awarding; however, little development is observed regarding post-tendering stages. In comparison, there is a higher share of OECD countries that have e-procurement systems supporting these functionalities, while similar variation around the procurement cycle is observed. Many OECD countries are also undergoing reforms to make these platforms more transactional and to cover the whole public procurement cycle. The European Commission has initiatives supporting a transition towards an e-procurement system that covers the whole public procurement cycle, including a plan on sequential application of mandatory use of e-submission of bids, e-invoicing, etc.

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Methodology and definitions

Data for the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – were collected through the 2019 Survey for the Western Balkans on Public Procurement. Data for the OECD countries were collected through the 2018 OECD Survey on the Implementation of the 2015 OECD Recommendations on Public Procurement to which 31 countries responded.

E-procurement refers to the integration of digital technologies in the replacement or redesign of paper-based procedures throughout the procurement cycle.

Public procurement cycle refers to the sequence of related activities, from needs assessment, through competition and award, to payment and contract management, as well as any subsequent monitoring or auditing.

E-contract management is the electronic enhancement of the management of receivables, payments, contract settlements, contract variations, bid securities, and auditing and control activities. A transactional portal is a system that provides information on everything related to the procurement cycle.

Further reading

OECD (2019), Reforming Public Procurement: Progress in Implementing the 2015 OECD Recommendation, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/1de41738-en

OECD (2015), Recommendation of the Council on Public Procurement, https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/instruments/OECD-LEGAL-0411

Figure notes

Data for the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are not available. On data for Israel, see http://doi.org/10.1787/888932315602

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7.9. Functionalities provided by the e-procurement system(s) – Pre-tendering and tendering stages, 2019

 

Publishing procurement plans

Publication of opportunities

Announcing tenders

Provision of tender documents

Electronic submission of bids

e-reverse auctions

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kosovo

Montenegro

North Macedonia

Serbia

Western Balkans

 

 

 

 

 

 

● Provided on central e-procurement system(s)

100%

67%

100%

100%

50%

33%

▲ Provided only by those of specific procuring entity(ies)

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

❍ Not provided

0%

33%

0%

0%

50%

67%

OECD

 

 

 

 

 

 

● Provided on central e-procurement system(s)

68%

81%

97%

90%

81%

45%

▲ Provided only by those of specific procuring entity(ies)

13%

3%

3%

10%

13%

13%

❍ Not provided

19%

16%

0%

0%

6%

42%

Source: For the data on the Western Balkans, OECD (2019), 2019 Survey for the Western Balkans on Public Procurement; For the OECD data, OECD (2018), 2018 OECD Survey on the Implementation of the 2015 OECD Recommendations on Public Procurement

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934129429

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7.10. Functionalities provided by the e-procurement system(s) – Post-tendering stage, 2019

 

Notification of award

Online catalogue

Electronic submission of invoices

Ex-post contract management

FA module

Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kosovo

Montenegro

North Macedonia

Serbia

Western Balkans

 

 

 

 

 

● Provided on central e-procurement system(s)

100%

0%

0%

0%

83%

▲ Provided only by those of specific procuring entity(ies)

0%

0%

0%

17%

0%

❍ Not provided

0%

100%

100%

83%

17%

OECD

 

 

 

 

 

● Provided on central e-procurement system(s)

97%

39%

35%

32%

48%

▲ Provided only by those of specific procuring entity(ies)

3%

16%

23%

23%

16%

❍ Not provided

0%

45%

42%

45%

35%

Source: For the data on the Western Balkans, OECD (2019), 2019 Survey for the Western Balkans on Public Procurement; For the OECD data, OECD (2018), 2018 OECD Survey on the Implementation of the 2015 OECD Recommendations on Public Procurement

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888934129448

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