The digital transformation of public procurement is one of the strategic objectives of the Italian and European Digital Agenda. The expected result is the simplification, digitalisation and transparency of the awarding procedures, according to the logic of Digital Single Market. AgID plays a coordinating role among the Central Bodies, in order to identify the enabling conditions for the development of e-procurement
eProcurement positively impacts on Contracting Authorities (over 30000 in Italy); on the economic operators that participate in the purchasing procedures; on the Central Bodies which have coordinating and monitoring roles as defined by the Italian Code of Public Contracts; on the service providers for the public administration. According to estimates by the ‘Osservatorio del Politecnico di Milano’, savings of between 6 and 13.5 billion euros a year are expected for every 100 billion of public spending.
The transformation of public procurement goes through the definition of digital processes concerning the various stages of a tender procedure. The preparation and publication of the call for tenders, the submission of the bid and the awarding of a tender are distinguished phases of the awarding procedure, together with the subsequent stipulation of the contract. The execution of the contract is the macro-phase following the awarding and includes the purchase order by the Public Administration, the delivery of the despatch advice by the supplier, the issue of the electronic invoice and the subsequent payment by the public body.
Digitizing these phases means identifying the electronic format for the business documents, together with the exchange protocols, in order to guarantee data interoperability both at national and at European level, pursuing the Digital Single Market and facilitating the participation of economic operators in procedures issued by the public bodies of other Member States.
Thanks to the digital transformation of the pre-award phase, which involves all of the processes before the contract is awarded, a simplification of procedures and facilitation of participation for economic operators is expected, increasing competitiveness and obtaining a consequent beneficial result for the State. The digitization of the subsequent phases is especially important for monitoring public spending and for easing payment flows to suppliers.
The approach identified by AgID, in concert with the other transformation stakeholders, is to identify systems and infrastructures that allow the creation of a Data Driven model, that is an architecture in the national system, based on the once-only principle (citizens and enterprises share their data only once with the administrations, which are then supposed to share them in interoperability), in which the PA and enterprises participate in processes guided by the valorisation of the data exchanged through the various tender phases.