Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: the case of eProcurement
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Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: the case of eProcurement



Authors: Gilles Moutet, Fléri Louis-François, Ralf Cimander

Authors: Gilles Moutet, Fléri Louis-François, Ralf Cimander

PROCURE is an e-service aimed at more than 2,000 public local entities in the region of Burgundy (France)



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    Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: the case of eProcurement Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: the case of eProcurement Document Transcript

    • Regional Shared eGovernment in the Region of Burgundy: case of eProcurement PROCURE is an e-service aimed at more than 2,000 public local entities in the region of Burgundy (France) with three Louis-François key objectives: a) bringing together all public entities for their Fléri 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 Gilles Moutet regional project in France. eGOV-Solutions PROCURE is the first e-service delivered by the e- Bourgogne platform. At the regional level, it has delivered Ralf Cimander 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 Keywords tenders to 1,309 local legal entities (mainly local authorities). eProcurement, eTendering, 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 overseas region). governance model and the change management Presently, the key action within the Burgundy region is to approach, including 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. 1 GIP (Groupement d’Intérêt Public): holding public company having local authorities as stakeholders. PPP: Public Private Partnership. European Journal of ePractice · 1 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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 50,000 inhabitants. 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 administrations. 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). European Journal of ePractice · 2 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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 Syndicates): 226 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 easily. 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 regions. European Journal of ePractice · 3 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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 European Journal of ePractice · 4 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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, etc.); - 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 information; - Time saving in the formal structuring of the bids, using forms pre-filled with company data and tender reference; - 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 Solution 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 enterprises (SME). 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.). European Journal of ePractice · 5 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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 tenders. 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: − eContract − eOrders − eInvoicing − 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 and eLearning. European Journal of ePractice · 6 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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: European Journal of ePractice · 7 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • LOCAL TRUST MPE LOCAL TRUST SUB Beyond Funding requests creation Tenders announcement PROCURE project perimeter Tenders documents Bids management Funding requests Funding requests Funding policy Bids openning management management management management management Procurement instruction publishing Statisttics Statisttics SOAP SOAP Portal: LOCAL TRUST PAE Interfaces Single sign-on Technologies mutualisées: management Shared processes: Collaborative work Workflow Administration Web publishing XML Users management Content management Security Payment (HELIOS) Rights management Geo-localization Time-stamping Agenda 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 of tenders. 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 contracts. 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. European Journal of ePractice · 8 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • Figure 4: Technical standards of the e-Bourgogne platform Figure 5: Semantic standards of the e-Bourgogne platform European Journal of ePractice · 9 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • 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 Regional level 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). National level Five other regions have decided to implement the same organizational approach as e-Bourgogne, and 50% of them have selected the same software solution. European level 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: European Journal of ePractice · 10 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • − 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 complementarities: 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; European Journal of ePractice · 11 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • − 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 benefits; − 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): EU - eGovernment exchange and PROCURE case: and Interoperability programme: European Journal of ePractice · 12 Nº 1 · November 2007
    • IDABC: DGME (France): CDC (France): ATEXO (France): Authors The European Journal of ePractice Gilles Moutet is a digital publication on eTransformation by General manager, a portal created by the eGOV-Solutions European Commission to promote the sharing of good practices in eGovernment, eHealth and eInclusion. Louis-François Fléri e-bourgogne project director Edited by P.A.U. Education, S.L. Burgundy Region Web: Email: Ralf Cimander The texts published in this Researcher journal, unless otherwise indicated, are Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) subject to a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.5 licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them, European Journal of ePractice, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on nd/2.5/ European Journal of ePractice · 13 Nº 1 · November 2007