Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: the case of eProcurement
Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: case
PROCURE is an e-service aimed at more than 2,000 public
local entities in the region of Burgundy (France) with three
key objectives: a) bringing together all public entities for their
purchases, b) giving companies, especially small ones, a
single entry to all tenders and the capability to respond Burgundy Region
electronically to them, and c) to be the pilot eGovernment
regional project in France.
PROCURE is the first e-service delivered by the e-
Bourgogne platform. At the regional level, it has delivered
significant results in fostering industry competition,
improving the quality of the public purchaser’s job and Institute for
reducing costs. Since the beginning of 2005, 14,000 Information
tenders have been published on the platform leading to Management Bremen
121,000 downloads of RFPs (Request for proposals). By (ifib)
December 2006, the existing service was used by 7,500
companies, among which a large majority of SME's to
identify tenders, promote their offers and submit electronic
tenders to 1,309 local legal entities (mainly local authorities).
These results explain why Burgundy was granted in 2006 shared eGovernment, eTEN,
with a European eTEN project, with the objective to evaluate governance, interoperability,
the situation of five other European regions and assess the eCampus, GIP, PPP,
ways in which this service could be made available to them, eBourgogne, DGME
responding to their legal, functional and technical
requirements. The other regions are Brittany (France),
Catalonia (Spain), Uddevalla municipality (Sweden), Central
Bohemia (Czech Republic) and Guadeloupe (France The key factors of the
success have been the
governance model and the
Presently, the key action within the Burgundy region is to
build the governance model (GIP and PPP1) to bring communication and
together more than 2,000 public entities in sharing a education.
common platform (IT/IS infrastructure and eCAMPUS) to run
the eProcurement processes and many other eGovernment
services to be deployed.
GIP (Groupement d’Intérêt Public): holding public company having
local authorities as stakeholders.
PPP: Public Private Partnership.
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1 The policy context
1.1 Local government landscape in France
French local authorities (LA’s) are described through three major levels of political responsibility:
Regions: 22 metropolitan regions and 3 overseas regions
Departments: regions are subdivided in 102 departments (96 metropolitan and 6 overseas); in
each department, the local authority is the conseil général, with its own budget.
The préfecture is the administrative structure reporting to Ministry of Interior.
Municipalities: There are 36,500 municipalities, although only 118 have a population exceeding
In addition, there are about 120,000 local legal entities (LLE’s) in charge of specific interests: social
agencies, schools, universities and hospitals.
1.2 The e-Bourgogne platform and PROCURE
The French central government created in 2003 an agency, now called DGME (Direction générale pour la
modernisation de l’état), with the objectives to reduce and simplify paper-based administrative
procedures and to improve productivity and efficiency. The DGME rapidly established the interoperability
common framework (in coherence with the e-Europe 2005 program) and launched the eGOV strategic
program ADELE, quot;Administration Electronique 2004/2007quot;, focusing primarily on State Administrations.
Project ADELE 73 was the key component of the French eGOV strategic plan which set up e-Bourgogne
at the Burgundy region as a pilot platform in France for regional eGovernment. The e-Bourgogne
platform was initiated by a convention signed between the central government and the region.
The platform’s first three operational services to be deployed are:
1. The PROCURE e-service for electronic procurement (the first delivered by e-Bourgogne)
2. A single entry point for companies applying for financial support and/or requiring support for
their business establishment in Burgundy.
3. The dematerialization of legal and accounting documents between local authorities and central
Clients of the e-Bourgogne platform are local authorities (LA’s) and local legal entities (LLE’s).
PROCURE is an e-service providing complete access to all regional public tenders to tools that simplify
and reduce the cost of the submitting process. The tendering service is used by all the entities
interested in public calls for bids issued by the legal entities in the Burgundy region. They can be any
type of legal entities or private companies, but the service is specifically intended to ease the access to
public tenders of local small and medium enterprises (SME). Since March 2006 the following 1,309
public and private entities are partners in the e-Bourgogne project and have decided to be part of a GIP,
a public legal holding structure (GIP = Groupement d’Intérêt Public).
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Table: Local authorities and local legal entities in the project
Local authorities (LA’s) Local Legal Entities (LLE’s)
- Regional council of Burgundy: 1 - Social agencies: 3
- Department councils: 4 - Chamber of Commerce: 4
- Municipalities of 0 to 500 inhabitants: 620 - Schools: 46
- Municipalities of 501 to 1000 inhabitants: 171 - Universities: 7
- Municipalities of 1001 to 2000 inhabitants: 87 - Hospitals: 25, Retirement houses: 12
- Municipalities of 2001 to 10 000 inhabitants: 73 - OPHLM (Subsidized housing): 8
- Municipalities > 10 000 inhabitants: 16
- Inter-municipality agencies (CC, CA and
PROCURE is also a European eTEN project since the beginning of 2007. This project, lead by the
Burgundy region, aims to demonstrate that the eProcurement service now running in Burgundy can be
applied in the other selected European regions responding to their legal, functional and technical
requirements. The five other European regions involved in the project are: Britany (France), Catalonia
(Spain), Uddevalla municipality (Sweden), Central Bohemia (Czech Republic) and Guadeloupe (France
overseas region). The project also responds to a key objective of the eGOV European action plan:
eProcurement as a key European enabler.
1.3 Management approach for the e-Bourgogne platform
With the GIP, there is a legal structure in place able to resist political changes and embrace the critical
mass of all LA’s and LLE’s in the region.
The e-Bourgogne platform is organized through this specific governance model, in which the regional
legal entities are stakeholders. This GIP provides its services to all legal entities autonomous in terms of
procurement (such as universities, high schools, chambers of commerce, etc.) and represents their
interests. With this organizational structure, the critical mass of all LA's and LLE's can be achieved more
The organisational model employed is the centralisation of functions/services fulfilment, without loosing
the autonomy for service provision of the LA's and LLE's. In this sense, the e-Bourgogne platform
operates as a kind of clearinghouse for the involved public entities, supporting the fulfilment of their
duties and responsibilities.
Currently, e-Bourgogne aims to be a model for the implementation of similar platforms in other French
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Figure 1: A shared platform managed by a common legal entity (GIP)
2 PROCURE’s challenges and objectives
2.1 Problems addressed
Until the deployment of the PROCURE e-service for public procurement and tendering, most
processes required manual intervention at most stages, either by public entities or by private
companies. As an example, a private company had to make inquiries at different access points for
RFI's (Request for information) or RFP's (Request for proposals), ask for related formal documents to
be sent by mail and respond to the tender following a complex and cumbersome manual process
through the post office. Furthermore, in the local public entities all processes were manual without any
interoperability between services. There was no visibility of the companies’ profiles or the tenders’
statistical results and performances at regional level.
The challenges met by PROCURE had to respond the requirements assessed in a field survey among
LA's and LLE's. These requirements were:
− To give the same access to all public entities and private companies, large or small;
− To simplify the whole process;
− To give a single online access to all tenders in the Burgundy territory (cities, municipalities,
departements, region and LLEs);
− To implement an effective user authentication through electronic signature.
2.2 Specific objectives for PROCURE
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The objectives of PROCURE are set up according to two different groups of target users. Firstly, the
service is targeted to SME's staff, which can access to active public calls for bids in a more simple way
and benefit from simplified sales processes to legal entities. The second target users are civil servants,
who are now able to use specific tools created to publish and send the tender files they manage and
benefit as well of new ways to identify potential suppliers.
More specifically, the following objectives have been defined for these two user groups:
For the SME’s staff:
- Easier access to information on new calls for bids (portal search, keywords based alert services,
- Immediate access to tender files, without any time constraint (opening time, courier transit times);
- Ability to describe the company’s activity and its products according to standardized formats,
providing buyers with an efficient supplier search functionality based on accurate and up-to-date
- Time saving in the formal structuring of the bids, using forms pre-filled with company data and
- The easy submittal of bids using electronic transfer implies time saving, reduction of printing and
binding costs, courier costs, etc.
For the civil servants:
- The opportunity to have a user-friendly application assisting them in their day-to-day work;
- The opportunity to improve buying efficiency by having a better knowledge of the market (access to
enterprises' databases for instance);
- The opportunity to monitor activity indicators (such as time to conduct an entire procedure, number
of abandoned procedures and differences between assessed and experienced costs) and to better
identify areas of potential improvements;
- The opportunity to improve their job by sharing good practices between administrations.
3.1 Workflow of PROCURE: eProcurement phases
The service is used by all the entities interested in public calls for bids issued by legal entities (LA’s and
LLE’s) in the Burgundy region. They can be any type of legal entities or private companies, but the
service is specifically intended to ease the access to public tenders of local small and medium
Typically a SME will use the service for:
Identifying public tenders which correspond to its range of commercial activities. The platform
gathers all the calls for bids of the region, whatever the entity that issues it. The search engine
includes a geo-localization tool to restrict the search to a certain zone or to a maximum distance
from a given point. In addition, an automatic alert service screens the new tenders and informs
users of those matching certain criteria (key words, category, geographical localization, etc.).
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Promoting its offers by submitting a form with the company’s profile and publishing its sales
catalogue. This information is accessible to all buyers.
Submitting tenders electronically, in complete compliance with the Directive 2004/18/CE of the
European Parliament and the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for
the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts.
PROCURE presently covers all phases of the tendering process (following IDABC template).
Table: Phases of a tendering process
eSourcing Stage 1: Tender info is produced by LA's and LLE's. Before producing
tenders, the LA might make an inquiry to the purchase observatory, where
information on past tenders and companies profiles can be obtained. The
observatory is a knowledge management system with the 'statistical'
database of the purchase history in the region.
eNoticing Stage 2: Creation of eNotices, publication by LA’s or LLE’s
eAccess Stage 3: Inquiry by private companies.
eSubmission Stage 4: RFP electronic responses are made by private companies. Private
companies will input the legally required documents (company registration,
insurances, financials, etc.) in secured vaults (electronic archiving) and input
those only once. Digital signature is mandatory for medium and large size
Stage 5: Reception of legal tender documents and download of legal
documents in electronic vault.
eAwarding Stage 6: Management of tender commissions; production of score cards.
Selection by LA’s and LLE’s and closing.
Purchase tutorial Such as coaching and education, mainly of small entities, and the
implementation of an eCampus (see below).
eProcurement phases still to be developed:
− ePayment interface with legacy systems
− Electronic archiving (under implementation).
3.2 eCampus – learning to use PROCURE
The education of public agents and companies is a key factor for the success of e-services. The great
number of people involved in the e-Bourgogne platform implied the need to deliver a quality large-scale
education program by all means. The model chosen is a mix between traditional face to face training
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eCampus is a competence center addressing that objective, and is part of the e-Bourgogne platform. It
is also an education engineering process addressing the following key objectives:
- To facilitate resource sharing among LA’s and LLE’s;
- To facilitate access to large numbers of trainees with a quality and user-friendly interface;
- To improve effectiveness (doing the right things) and efficiency (doing the things right);
- Cost reduction.
Figure 2: eCampus supports the technical aspects of education and its business part
3.3 Functional architecture
The functional architecture of the e-Bourgogne platform, running presently on the LOCAL TRUST
solution developed by the French service provider Atexo, is as follows:
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LOCAL TRUST MPE LOCAL TRUST SUB
Funding requests creation
Portal: LOCAL TRUST PAE Interfaces
Single sign-on Technologies mutualisées: management
Collaborative work Workflow
Web publishing XML
Content management Security Payment (HELIOS)
Legal control (ACTES)
Companies Legal entities Tenders Procurement
base base base base Other
Figure 3: Architecture of the e-Bourgogne platform
The architecture is mainly constituted by a portal, LOCAL TRUST PAE (quot;Portail d'Administration
Electroniquequot;, or eGovernment portal) and a SOAP web service LOCAL TRUST MPE (quot;Marchés Publics
Electroniquesquot;, standing for electronic tendering) dedicated to the functional service of the management
Beside the PROCURE project, e-Bourgogne includes other SOAP web services such as funding the
development of enterprises, as represented in the above figure (Local trust sub).
Technology wise, LOCAL TRUST is a fully open-source solution. Developed following a SOA
architecture, LOCAL TRUST uses PHP script language and leverages on open-source components:
SPIP for portal and content management functionalities, MySQL for databases management, Apache for
web publishing and Linux as operating systems.
3.4 Used standards
The e-Bourgogne platform and PROCURE have been developed in accordance to the Directive
2004/18/CE of the European Parliament and the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of
procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service
PROCURE is fully an open source solution. Currently, data encryption and digital signature rely on an
implementation of open_ssl, whereas forwarded authentication with SOAP protocol uses NuSOP.
The e-Bourgogne platform and its PROCURE e-service are compliant with the French interoperability
standards, RGI Presto, which also match European directives.
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Figure 4: Technical standards of the e-Bourgogne platform
Figure 5: Semantic standards of the e-Bourgogne platform
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3.5 Awareness and Marketing
Large efforts have been made in marketing and education. Both are viewed as critical to insure the
success of the platform. Another key component is the governance model (GIP).
The marketing efforts include a comprehensive communication plan and field actions, such as its
presentation at the Dijon congress (2006), the commitment of regional council members and the
president, and a large media support. Moreover, Martine Vandelle, the regional counselor in charge of
procurement for the region, has visited so far more than 600 communes.
Increasing the awareness involves an education plan and actions which include the eCampus and the
eLearning platform (see the chapter on eCampus).
4 Impact analysis
4.1 Evidence of impact
Since its launch in December 2004, the PROCURE service has been used by 8,500 companies, among
which a large majority of SME's access to it to identify tenders, promote their offers and submit
electronic documentation. Since the beginning of 2005, 14,000 tenders have been published on the e-
Bourgogne platform, leading to the download of 120,000 documents (as of June 2007).
The cost-savings produced by PROCURE on a yearly basis are up to 4 million euros. This is
complemented with the 5 million sheets of paper saved.
1,309 local public entities are involved in the e-Bourgogne project, which equals about 50% of all public
authorities in the Burgundy region. These 1,309 public entities form the legal entity GIP as a permanent
structure for operation.
The eGOV Burgundy survey demonstrates a very high satisfaction rate. Nearly 90% of the local entities
are very satisfied by the platform and declare that the PROCURE service was for them a key priority.
Also, the project has created a greater interest in the industry to respond to public tenders, and
especially among SME's, for which access is now easier.
The job of the public buyers has been significantly improved in terms of quality and interest, becoming
more proactive and analytical (purchase observatory).
Five other regions have decided to implement the same organizational approach as e-Bourgogne, and
50% of them have selected the same software solution.
Following the success of its regional public procurement dematerialization service and the extensive use
made of the latter, particularly by SMEs, the Burgundy Regional Council tendered for an European
Commission eTEN call to market validate the PROCURE e-service in other European regions. The
project started in the beginning of 2007 and its duration is 18 months.
This project aims, after a preliminary study of the specific characteristics of government purchasing in
different European countries, at making the following possible:
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− To adapt the service currently used in the Burgundy region to enable its usage in other
European countries (compliance with European directives and with local legal constraints,
functional improvements, etc.),
− To check the suitability of the adapted services by conducting five experiments in four European
countries (France, Czech Republic, Spain and Sweden);
− To communicate the results of this work to all organizations involved in government procurement
at European level (elected associations, professional federations, consular organizations, etc.).
In order to carry out the field market validation, following six 5 test regions have been chosen for their
Central Bohemia (Czech Republic), who is a newcomer in the public purchasing dematerialization
area. The main purpose of this pilot project is to test the facility to adapt and deploy the service “from
scratch”, even if the scope of the deployed functionalities is limited. This pilot prepares the deployment
of the solution in all the Eastern member states.
Catalonia (Spain) is a mature region regarding the public purchasing dematerialization, even if they do
not have currently an e-tendering solution. Catalonia has already implemented solutions covering others
parts of the purchasing chain (enterprise qualification solution, soon e-ordering solution). It is then an
opportunity to validate the complementarities of the e-Bourgogne solution with the Catalonia’s solution.
Uddevalla (Sweden) is also a mature region regarding to public purchasing dematerialization and has
used for several years an e-ordering solution supplied by Marakanda. Uddevalla has just bought an e-
tendering solution and started using it at the beginning of 2007. This pilot will be the opportunity to add
cross border functionalities to Uddevella’s e-tendering solution.
In Brittany (France), workgroups involving public buyers from varied public organizations and local
Commerce Chamber have already been set up, and a public market has been concluded to carry out
an e-tendering solution around April 2007. Thus, this pilot will mainly be the opportunity to validate a
deployment strategy toward SME’s: creation of tutorials, set up of a call center, etc.
Guadeloupe (France, overseas region) is a small geographic territory with few public organizations and
private companies. It is thus the opportunity to deploy in a well-known environment (France) all the
functionalities expected in the large majority of public organizations and private companies.
4.2 Case innovation
e-Bourgogne is the first regional quot;sharedquot; platform in operation in France, used by more than 1,000 local
public entities, and its first delivered service is eProcurement.
The key factors of the success have been the governance model and the change management
approach, including communication and education. The e-Bourgogne governance model (GIP + PPP) is
unique in France and in Europe to our knowledge and the associated business case.
Key for success is to have a holistic approach and not only to apply a single key element at a time. The
key elements to activate are:
− Developing a shared vision and shared values;
− Getting commitment from top political executives in the region;
− Keep going to LA’s to convince, coach and educate;
− Building a legal governance structure that resists to political changes and embraces critical mass
of LA’s and LLE’s;
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− Responding to LA’s and LLE’s expectations. Create an on-going panel;
− Reacting to new legal framework (eProcurement);
− Developing a business case;
− Starting by a service application where economy of scale is crystal clear and demonstrates
− Developing a FO-BO model; leave FO to LA’s and LLE’s;
− Building interface with BO and legacy systems;
− Using open source and interoperability frameworks; adhere to national standards;
− Benchmarking at national and international levels. Both ways.
5 Learning points
The four main lessons to be learnt from the case are:
Start by developing a shared vision and shared values
With ADELE 73, ADAE set up a program for efficient eGovernment on the regional level with e-
Bourgogne as pilot which is based on an interoperability common framework. This has been the basis
for the development of a shared vision on what should be achieved and how in e-Bourgogne: solutions
and services approach.
Get commitment from the top political executives in the region
e-Bourgogne was initiated by a convention signed between the central government (Prime Minister) and
the region (President of regional council). Political will and support on the highest levels were achieved.
Moreover, the success of the implementation is due to the commitment of the regional council
members, including its president and the whole region.
Keep going to LA’s to convince and educate
To ensure the success of e-Bourgogne, large efforts have been made in marketing and education. Both
are viewed as critical success factors for the overall project. This includes the development of a
comprehensive communication plan and field actions, the organization of events like the Dijon congress,
the media support and extensive activities of high level politicians, such as the regional counselor in
charge of procurement for the region, Martine Vandelle. Besides convincing and rising awareness, an
education plan for LA's has also been developed, including the eCampus and an eLearning platform.
Build a legal governance structure that resists to political changes and embraces critical mass o f
LA’s and LLE’s.
References and links
Region Bourgogne: e-Bourgogne and access to white paper (in French): http://www.e-Bourgogne.fr
EU - eGovernment exchange and PROCURE case: http://www.epractice.eu and
Interoperability programme: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/2005/all_about/modinis/
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DGME (France): http://www.dgmefinances.com/index_en.htm
CDC (France): http://www.caissedesdepots.fr/FR/index.php
ATEXO (France): http://www.atexo.com/
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e-bourgogne project director Edited by P.A.U. Education, S.L.
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