without borders in Europe
Table of contents
Project Director André Hoddevik explains why PEPPOL will be the
future standard for public eProcurement in the European Union.
The European eProcurement initiative PEPPOL 4
The European Commission’s pilot project PEPPOL is part of
the Commission’s European Digital Agenda.
„The EU‘s Digital Agenda for PEPPOL facilitating cross-border eProcurement 5
Europe gives a clear strategy PEPPOL allows European businesses to widen their markets
to use ICT opportunities to the and exchange cross-border business documents.
advantage of European society.
European governments should What Experts say about the benefits of PEPPOL 6
look towards the future and grasp European procurement experts say why government agencies
the opportunities ICT is providing and private companies will both benefit from the project.
by preparing their businesses and
people for the years to come.“ Facts about PEPPOL 7
Neelie Kroes Frequently asked questions about PEPPOL and its influence
EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda
on the European procurement landscape
Become part of PEPPOL! 8
Governments, economic operators and software companies are invited
to participate in the project.
Governments: Why become a Pilot participant? 9
Reasons why PEPPOL could save government agencies some of their
paper work and a significant amount of their costs.
Suppliers: Why become a Pilot participant? 10
Reasons why SMEs and enterprises should participate in the project and
how they could provide their input to the design of the specifications.
Contact Information, Project Milestones and Sustainability 11
Details about the regional nodes to contact and ask for participation,
about project milestones and the long-term sustainability.
Imprint Publisher: Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) www.difi.no
Street address: Grev Wedels plass 9, 5th floor, 0151 Oslo Postal address: P.O.Box 8115 DEP, N-0032 Oslo;
For the Content responsible: André Hoddevik, Project Director PEPPOL - Pan-European Public
Procurement Online, www.peppol.eu, firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: +47 913 97 587;
Photo Credits: istock, shutterstock, Difi; European Commission
The second year of operations has resulted in significant progress
towards the vision of PEPPOL that is to enable businesses to
communicate electronically with any EU governmental institution
in the procurement process. Now a common pilot platform is being
developed where we invite any EU company to join.
Governments in the EU are the largest buyers of acceptable to the hospital. And if this Danish small
private-sector services. Their purchases account enterprise is successful in its bid, then the French
for around 16 per cent of the EU’s gross domestic hospital should be able to send orders and receive
product (GDP), which is equal to Euro 1,500 their invoices following a common set of defined
billion. However, governments lag behind industry business rules and processes.
in electronic data exchange with suppliers. At the
same time, EU companies miss out on genera- PEPPOL plans to deliver public services
ting substantial business with the public sector more efficiently.
because of extensive paperwork required to bid And realise these accumulated benefits by alig-
for government contracts, particularly across ning the “who” and “what” of tendering processes
borders. Moreover, the economic power of the with the “when” and “how much” of supply proces- André Hoddevik, Project Director
influential public sector has been restricted by ses. We will do this by a common agreement on
existing islands of public procurement. This limits cross-border procurement processes implemented
effectiveness and creates artificial barriers for through open standards. PEPPOL is creating a
businesses serving the public sector. common eBusiness platform where we invite any
European company – SMEs as well as multinatio- A huge market for electronic
The Pan-European Public nal corporations – to join and engage! procurement: Euro 1,500 billion
Procurement Online project. spent annually by EU govern-
It was in this environment that the European PEPPOL will set the future standard ments account for 16 per cent
Commission established PEPPOL. The project for public eProcurement. of Europe’s GDP.
aims to align business processes for electronic This will be characterised by the ability to deal
procurement across all governments within Euro- with electronically signed tender documents from
pe. This calls for the development of agreements other member states, a common recognition of
and standards in the exchange of business attestations, one process for providing product
information between contracting authorities and information through eCatalogues and uniform The PEPPOL consortium
their suppliers, on which suitable technology can ordering and invoicing processes between comprises 17 leading public
then be built. Thus, standardisation will inevitably all government agencies in Europe and their eProcurement agencies in 11
save time, increase transparency and competition. suppliers. This momentum provides the assurance countries: Austria, Denmark,
In practical terms, this means that when a Danish needed for the ICT industry to develop low-cost Finland, France, Germany,
small manufacturer of specialised microscopes and open-source solutions and provide services Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal,
wishes to bid in a tender issued by a French to encourage further participation. As the PEPPOL Sweden and the UK.
hospital, they should be able to securely submit project enters into production at the end of 2010, we
the appropriate corporate attestations and product will have achieved a major milestone towards the
offers in a form that is both legally and technically Europe 2020 flagship initiative “Innovation Union”.
4 PEPPOL – The European
The European Commission’s pilot project
PEPPOL is a major cross-border eProcure-
within Europe. At the heart of the PEPPOL
architecture is a transport network allowing
ment initiative intended to provide large-scale, governments and companies to connect their
standards-based IT infrastructure and services IT resources to carry out reliable data exchanges
to set up and run Pan-European public procu- of business documents.
rement operations online. eProcurement in the
European context replaces paper-based procedu- Many EU countries already use electronic
res by technology-based communications across procurement to make tendering of public sector
the union and throughout the entire procurement contracts simpler and more efficient. Successful
chain: publication of tender notices, provision of eProcurement platforms are securely established
tender documents, submission of tenders, eva- in many public administrations in the Member
luation, award, ordering, invoicing and payment. States. In addition, the acceptance of those sys-
In the current financial climate such efficiencies tems is growing strongly. However, most of those
are particularly welcome as they help to reduce solutions are solely implemented on a national
administration costs and support governments’ or regional level with limited access to other
austerity plans. communities. The main task of PEPPOL is to
enhance the connection of existing eProcurement
PEPPOL can be seen as a basic element of the communities, and allow the private sector to bid
Commission’s European Digital Agenda which for public sector contracts anywhere in the EU:
aims to use the potential of ICT and to establish an important step towards achieving the European
interconnected public procurement solutions single market.
Three key PEPPOL standards: BusDox, BII and BIS
PEPPOL plans to both deliver public services In fact, by establishing a BusDox network for
more efficiently and realize these accumulated eProcurement, PEPPOL is actually creating a
benefits by aligning the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of the common eBusiness platform for use by any
tendering processes with the ‘what’, ‘when’, European organization – both public and private.
and ‘how much’ of the supply processes. We It has been said that this is reminiscent of the
will do this by a common agreement on cross way government’s funded infrastructure in roads
border procurement processes implemented and rail that enabled innovation and improve-
through open standards. The principle standards ments for cross border trade in the past.
PEPPOL uses are known as BusDox and BII as
well as the PEPPOL Business Interoperability And if BusDox provides the infrastructure then
Specifications (BIS). Using the BusDox stan- the Business Interoperability Interfaces (BII)
dards from OASIS means that organizations standards from CEN/CENELEC define the com-
participating in PEPPOL (and their network mon PEPPOL business processes. For example,
providers) can securely and reliably exchange BII defines the process and information content
electronic documents between each other. to be used when invoices are sent by the Danish
Although created through the PEPPOL project, supplier to the French hospital. Such standar-
BusDox can actually support different business dization on public eProcurement processes will
services, such as Transportation, inevitably save time, increase transparency, and
Insurance, Health and Service Records, etc. increase competition.
PEPPOL allows European businesses to widen
their markets and carry out cross-border public
procurement transactions. A standardised
electronic procurement process from eCatalogue
to eInvoice will contribute to a more economic and
secure interoperability for enterprises and SMEs.
Tendering Purchasing Payment
Electronic signatures based on electronic certifi-
cates identifying companies and/or single persons
are in common use already. They allow the secure
identification of the sender of a document and eProcurement Components
ensure that a document has not been modified. eNoticing eAwarding
eSourcing eTendering & eCatalogue eOrdering eInvoicing ePayment
PEPPOL aims to create interoperability between eContract
the different national schemes, so that in practice PEPPOL Enablers
a public sector entity can validate certificates issu- (VCD)
ed in other member states, allowing for electronic eSignature
submission of tenders cross borders. PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure
Virtual Company Dossier (VCD)
The objective of the VCD is to replace paper cer- eOrdering
tificates with electronic attestations. The VCD and The eOrder process deals with the electronic
its standardized specifications will support tende- transmissions of documents. It starts with the
rers in creating their information and qualification issuing of orders by the buyer and ends with the
package in their home country more easily and receipt of an order response and the transmissi-
with a higher degree of quality. With the VCD it on of the delivery instructions from the supplier. PEPPOL Transport
shall be easier for enterprises and SMEs to make Ordering is an important procurement phase as it Infrastructure
a cross-border submission and to meet the legal strongly affects the other phases, from catalogue The foundation of all PEPPOL
and formal company qualification criteria for the to payment. The goal is to implement a European post-award services is an inter-
awarding phase. Ordering (EOI) framework that allows SMEs to connected eProcurement infra-
adopt eOrdering in an effective way to lower their structure based on common IT
eCatalogue cost of entry and operating costs. standards compatible with the
A shared approach for providing product informati- various solutions provided on
on though eCatalogues will save time for suppliers eInvoicing a Member State-level. Centerpi-
when preparing their offers and it will facilitate the The eInvoicing process deals with the claim for ece of such an infrastructure is
evaluation of tenders for contracting authorities. payment for the goods and services that have a messaging service enabling
Economic operators will be encouraged to invest been either ordered or delivered received or con- government agencies and pri-
into the creation of an electronic prospectus of sumed under the conditions agreed by the buyer vate companies to exchanges
their offer, because it can be reused for different and supplier. eInvoicing links the two important of all kinds of business docu-
tenders and across sectors. At the same time, value chains, the procurement process and the ments in a secure and reliable
open source solutions will benefit a large number payment process. PEPPOL seeks to implement manner.
of public administration small offices, which do and pilot arrangements for the exchange of eIn-
not have budget for the purchase of proprietary voicing documents between all awarding entities
eProcurement applications. and related economic operators.
What experts say about
the benefits of PEPPOL.
“The EU-sponsored PEPPOL project aims to facilitate electronic communication
between the public and private sector in cross-border and cross-regional pro-
curement procedures. More and more public authorities are purchasing on-line,
but suppliers from outside the region or Member State may have difficulty in
participating in on-line procurement procedures. There is a growing need for Niall Bohan,
solutions which allow public purchasers and suppliers from different regions and Head of Unit C4 DG MARKT
Member States to conclude mutually beneficial transactions on-line.“ European Commission
”PEPPOL reduces costs and increase competition
among suppliers and through standardization.
Easy electronic cross border eProcurement deli-
Per Karlsen, vered by PEPPOL fits our strategic goals and our
CFO Western Norway operational eProcurement needs on a day-to-day
Regional Health Authority basis.”
“Public procurement accounts for 16 percent of EU GDP, but only 5
percent is conducted electronically at the moment and small part of it only
is cross border. By fostering the development of converging technologies,
PEPPOL prepares the e-Procurement of tomorrow. The potential impact Vincent Tilman,
of PEPPOL on contracting authorities and businesses alike is huge. I wish Senior Advisor
businesses will start benefit from the progresses achieved very soon.” EUROCHAMBRES
“National public eProcurement has given
the proof, that the public sector can save a re-
markable amount of tax payers’ money. PEPPOL
Andreas Nemec, will deliver the standards and the infrastructure
Head of the Austrian for European wide cost benefits, based on the
Federal Procurement removal of competition fences and the reduction
Agency of process costs in pre award and post award
“PEPPOL should encourage more cross border
procurement and improve value for money in
procurement. It is all about making the internal Dag Strømsnes,
market working better, and improving the public Head of Department for
sector service delivery all over Europe.” Public Procurement (Difi),
PEPPOL and its influence on the
European procurement landscape.
The EU Member States have expressed a clear
political will to significantly change public pro-
curement in Europe. Although governments are
the largest buyers in the European Union, the
systems by using information and communication
technologies to enable them to connect with each
other. This would e.g. allow a French or Swedish
company to bid for an Austrian or Hungarian
economic power of this enormous market has government contract as easily as for a contract in
been constrained by being fragmented into their home country.
various “islands of procurement”, both internally The results go beyond saving taxpayers‘ money
and across EU borders. Since its operational start and having leaner procedures. By providing
in May 2008, the PEPPOL project has aimed to tools for businesses to access the entire Euro-
enable companies from one country to respond pean market for public services and leveling the
to public procurement procedures in another. playing field for SMEs (the backbone of Europe‘s
PEPPOL will not replace but rather build on the economy), cross-border eProcurement can boost
existing strengths of national eProcurement competitiveness.
Facts about PEPPOL
1. What is PEPPOL? utilizing their existing national infrastructure.
PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement
Online) aims to implement common standards
4. How do users benefit from the implemen-
tation of PEPPOL?
enabling EU-wide public eProcurement. Existing
national systems of electronic public procurement
PEPPOL will encourage all Member States to
capitalise on the potential of eBusiness. This will
will be linked so that all participants can in turn boost innovation and strengthen the com-
enjoy the full benefits of a single European petitiveness of enterprises and SMEs across the
market. PEPPOL is operated under the European EU. The immediate benefits of PEPPOL will allow
Commission‘s Competitiveness and businesses to widen their markets and carry out
Innovation Framework Programme’s ICT easier, more efficient and secure procurement.
Policy Support Programme. Contracting authorities will generate savings on
2. Who can participate in PEPPOL? administrative and transaction costs.
The PEPPOL project focuses on cross-border 5. What are the estimated cost savings
activities within the pre-award procurement in total?
process of Virtual Company Dossiers (eviden- Electronic public procurement initiatives
tiary documents) to eCatalogues and through clearly demonstrate the significant potential
to eOrdering and eInvoicing. PEPPOL will enable cost savings. It has been estimated that if
all Member States and their government contrac- eProcurement were introduced over all European
ting agencies, their suppliers (including small contracting authorities, annual savings could
and medium-sized businesses) and the ICT exceed Euro 50 billion.
industry to participate, follow its work and influ- 6. What are the challenges of implementing
ence the definition of specifications as they standardised electronic procurement?
are developed. National systems, standards and legislations
3. What is the vision of PEPPOL? need to be aligned with common European
The broader vision of PEPPOL is that any com- standards, which will require some investment.
pany in the EU can communicate electronically 7. What is the time frame of the project?
with any EU governmental institution for pre- The PEPPOL project started operation in May
award and post-award electronic procurement 2008 and is scheduled to run for 48 months.
activities. PEPPOL will allow any supplier in the From November 2010, the PEPPOL project
EU to respond to any European public tender starts its production pilot phase.
and conduct any resulting purchasing
8 Governments, economic operators and software
companies are invited to participate now. The
project also invites all other initiatives relevant
to public eProcurement to link with PEPPOL.
Become part of PEPPOL!
Results of the PEPPOL project This participation period is divided into two pha- PEPPOL use for eTendering (pre-award)
are made available to all stake- ses. In May 2010, PEPPOL entered its testing
PEPPOL is covering three key elements of
holders to ensure awareness phase. Contracting Authorities and their suppliers
public tender processes identified as the most
and acceptance on all levels simulate of one or more eProcurement processes
challenging for cross border tenderers:
across Europe. As a general to the common processes and tools developed by
» Use of the electronic certificate of the
policy, specifications, best the PEPPOL Working Groups.
choice of the economic operator; contracting
practices documentation, open
authorities ability to validate eSignatures
source reference implementa- From November 2010, the PEPPOL project starts
in tenders from suppliers in other Member
tions of components and buil- its production pilot phase. It includes full operati-
ding blocks for interoperability onal use of PEPPOL solutions with submissions
» Submitting evidences, certificates and
are made public. to real tenders and actual catalogues, orders and
attestations (Virtual Company Dossier)
invoices exchanged between the pilot participants.
» Submitting information about goods and
services offered (eCatalogues)
These are “win-win situations” for both Contrac-
ting Authorities and tenderers. Contracting Au-
thorities can reduce the administrative burden of
creating and evaluating tenders and tenderers
are assisted to create legitimate offers.
PEPPOL use for the supply
of goods and services (post-award)
PEPPOL can integrate the entire supply chain
from eCatalogue to eOrder to eInvoice by using
a defined set of processes sharing common
» Exchanging information about goods and
services available under the contract
» Ordering goods and services (eOrders)
» Requesting payment for goods and services
Any organization implementing these proces-
ses can achieve savings of 60 to 80 per cent
compared to traditional paper-based proces-
sing. Typical eProcurement projects result in a
payback period of 0.5 – 1.5 years and a recent
survey indicated that integrating the order-to-
invoice process alone can save over Euro 50
PEPPOL could save
and public entities like
hospitals up to 5 per
cent of expenditure
through more effective
purchasing and lower
Governments: Why become
a Pilot participant?
Participation in a PEPPOL Production Pilot gives PEPPOL benefits for governments
contracting authorities an early lead by gaining
» Make processes dealing with product catalogues,
familiarity with and contributing to more efficient
ordering, invoicing and processing tenders
eProcurement services. For tendering (pre-award)
more efficient by reducing transaction costs
processes, the pilot activities for a contracting
» Opening new markets to
authority may involve What is provided by PEPPOL?
local small businesses (SMEs)
» Specification and definition of tendered goods » General guidance on how to
» Increase competition in tenders
or services through the use of eCatalogues implement the pilot
» Contribute to innovative procurement and
» Submission of certificates and attestations » Advice from a local
influence the on-going evolution through
through the use of Virtual Company Dossiers PEPPOL contact point
» Validation of eSignatures used in electronic (see also page 11)
» Validate different digital certificates
submission of tenders. » A Starter Kit for enabling
used in e-signatures
Note: Tendering production pilots require initial participants to connect and
commitment from contracting authorities – eco- What do interested contracting authorities use PEPPOL services is
nomic operators will be included through their need to do next? available.
participation in the tendering process. » Nominate at least one representative
in their organization as contact person
For the supply of goods or services (post-award) » Engage their personnel with relevant technical, Who can take part?
processes the production pilot may involve legal, and administrative skills Participation in PEPPOL is
» Receiving an eCatalogue issued by a supplier » For tendering – have a forthcoming open to:
from another eProcurement community tender being issued. » any contracting authority
» Creating eOrders and sending them to a » For the supply of goods and services – who already has contracts
supplier in another eProcurement community have established and long running contracts with with suppliers using other
» Receiving an electronic invoice issued by a suppliers eProcurement communities
supplier from another eProcurement community » Assist in raising awareness of PEPPOL » any contracting authority
» Connecting to the PEPPOL infrastructure among local and cross-border suppliers issuing a tender
(required) » Contact their suppliers and invite them
Note: These production pilots require commitment » Contact their local PEPPOL contact points
from both a contracting authority and its suppliers. and ask for advice (see page 11)
Suppliers: Why become
a Pilot participant?
Suppliers are invited to participate in a technical
advisory group to get all the information, how to
connect to the PEPPOL infrastructure and provide
their input to the design of the specifications.
Who can take part? Today the situation in most eProcurement commu- Join now and you will get to know the underlying
Participation in PEPPOL nities requires that a supplier has to use different IT concepts and have the opportunity to provide
is open to: technology and processes for each different con- feedback based on your experience in using
» any supplier who already has tracting authority‘s eProcurement platform. With PEPPOL!
contracts with a participating PEPPOL, high processing and transaction cost
contracting authority can be reduced, since one common interface and
» any supplier responding to standardized software can be used. PEPPOL benefits for suppliers
a tender from a participating
» Sign documents electronically
contracting authority Becoming a PEPPOL participant
» Receive orders electronically
If you are delivering or planning to provide goods
from contracting authorities across Europe
and services for the public sector, participation in
» Send invoices electronically
What to do next PEPPOL identifies you as a market leader.
to contracting authorities across Europe
» Nominate at least one Note for SMEs: If you don’t use an electronic
» Build stronger relationships
representative in your organi- system to support your ongoing business, you
with public sector buyers
zation as contact person can use simple applications developed by the
» Reduce process costs
» Contact your contracting ICT industry and PEPPOL to participate. A single
» Improve contract compliance
authorities investment to have your information systems
» Improve contract management
» Contact your PEPPOL interface with PEPPOL processes enables you
» You only have to join PEPPOL once
contact point and ask for to be one of the first companies ready to receive
» Use of PEPPOL will be free of charge
advice (see also page 11) standardized orders from the participating public
Contact & Participate!
Governments and the private sector are kindly requested to contact the regional nodes responsiblefor
their respective country and register on the PEPPOL website www.peppol.eu
Contact points: Regional Nodes
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Ireland Lithuania, Latvia,
The PEPPOL project is the result
Norway, Sweden, UK/Scotland
of the European Competitiven-
Please contact: Ms Gry Monica Hellevik, Email: email@example.com
ess and Innovation Programme
(CIP) ICT Policy Support Pro-
Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Western Balkan
gramme (ICTPSP) 2007 and 2009
Please contact: Mr Enrique Vich (PR and Recruitment Director), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Proposals.
• Pilot A objective: Enabling
EU-wide public eProcurement
Please contact: Ms Prof. Dr. Maria A. Wimmer, Email: email@example.com
• 50% EU contribution for
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Romania
• Coordinated by the Norwegi-
Please contact: Mr Giancarlo de Stefano, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
an Agency for Public Manage-
ment and eGovernment (Difi)
France, Belgium, Luxembourg
• Consortium Partners:
Please contact: Mr Alain Ducass, Email: email@example.com
Public sector entities
• European Commission
• Enlarged consortium and
scope (1 November 2009)
• 17 beneficiaries’ partici
pants from 11 countries
PEPPOL has been operational since 2008. Since May 2010, PEPPOL has been testing pan-European • Total budget 30.8 million
eProcurement with selected pilot participants. From November 2010, PEPPOL services will support Euros
production services for real business transactions. • Project start up: 1 May
2008, duration 48 months
Pilot production PEPPOL Roll-Out
2010 2011 2012
Pilot start 5th PEPPOL Conference Troyes Building the PEPPOL community Transfer to long term sustainable operation
The PEPPOL project is a large scale pilot project aimed at implementing European wide public
eProcurement. This means that most PEPPOL consortium members are implementing PEPPOL solutions
and specifications into their existing eProcurement platforms and these will continue operating after the
project end. Together with the relevant Commission Services, the PEPPOL project is planning solutions
for maintaining operations of the common pre- and post-award components needed beyond 2012.