www.etenders.gov.ie
Liz Nolan
Department of Finance,
Ireland
Vienna, 10 November 2006
I am …..
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Liz Nolan, Assistant Principal
National Public Procurement Policy Unit
(NPPPU), Department of Finance
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Responsible for eProcurement
Content
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Background to etenders
Some key principles
Site functions
Planned functionality
Usage
Approach and lessons learned
Issues being addressed
Background to etenders
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etenders established in 2001
First recommended as a pilot by the national
eProcurement Strategy
Development programme in place, aiming for
a full online tendering system
In line with EU action plan on eProcurement
Some Key Principles
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Free registration for all buyers and suppliers
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Email alerts to suppliers are free of charge
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Encouraging greater access by SMEs to
public sector contracts
Home page
Site Functions – for buyers
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The Tendering Process including
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Creation of notices online (eSender); compliance assured
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above and below EU threshold
open advertising recommended for contracts over €50,000
Attaching documentation to a notice for downloading by
suppliers
Online clarifications facility
Online submission of tenders
Reminder to publish contract award notice
Buyer functions continued
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Authority home page
Notice workspace
Library facility for standard documents such
as terms and conditions, logo
Buyer Functions continued
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The site is a research tool – buyers can
search for
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similar tenders
supplier list (example is for security printing)
statistical returns ->
guidance material ->
Suppliers
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Registration
Searching for tender notices ->
Email alerts
Access to buyer profile, contract award
notices, guidance
Common content
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News
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Newsletter (ezine)
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Support desk (online or telephone)
Accessibility
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3 aspects for us:
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People with disabilities
People who do business in the Irish language
Suppliers with dial-up and/or low-grade PC
browser
People with disabilities
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Independent accessibility audit mid-2005
Included ‘usability’ audit
Most recommendations have been
implemented, expect remaining to be in
place before end 2006
Irish Language
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Facilitated under the Official Languages Act
2003
Irish-language version of the website
Site content mostly in English (guidance,
notices etc.)
Low-end users
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Some suppliers using dial-up
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2MB limit on files for downloading
Similar limitation on submission of tenders
Adapting this for larger tenders (e.g.
construction drawings)
We cater for almost all browsers
Marketing and education
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Targeting SMEs – marketing contract (won
by consortium of SMEs)
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Advertising (national media, journals, websites,
radio)
Electronic magazine
PR (press releases, highlighting specific tenders)
Search engine
Workshops and seminars
Usage (6 November 2006)
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Number of awarding authorities: 1,598
Number of buyers (awarding authority users): 2,961
Number of suppliers: 32,349
eSender: 95.2% (September 2006)
% attaching documents: 50% (up from 33%)
‘Postbox’: usage still quite low – see next slide
About 1,000 ‘active’ tenders at any given time
Savings from etenders
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Advertising spend (on tender notices) can be
reduced by up to 2/3 or even eliminated
(example, one small authority saved
€145,000 in one year)
Cost of tendering halved in one authority
One authority reported savings of €3,000 on
stationery and €7,000 in time (one year)
Savings contd.
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One authority measured pricing on four
specific items and results showed that
€1,000,000 saved in a year
Looking at mechanisms for measuring
savings
Approach to Development
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Outsourced development and day to day
management (including help desk)
Step-by-step development, better for users
(also due to lack of resources in NPPPU)
Pilot major enhancements (e.g. online
submission of tenders)
High degree of user input and feedback
eProcurement Network assistance
Lessons/Advice
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Keep users onside – communicate, invite
feedback
‘small steps’ approach has worked well for us
Workshops useful for spreading the message
Marketing necessary because of the number
of commercial tendering sites
Contact email addresses
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[email protected] or
[email protected]
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