The public sector is by far the largest purchaser of ICT, with an estimated spending of €94 billion in 2007. This gives it an enormous market power, as well as big responsibilities. Achieving value for money is essential when we are talking about public resources, and these resources can help foster a healthy, diverse and inclusive marketplace for the provision of ICT services.
Since 2008, we have been regularly monitoring the practice tender notices referring to specific trademarks when procuring for ICT products. Our research indicates that there is a strong trend of discrimination in procurement of ICT products with 15-20% of all tender notices containing specific trademark references, and no notable progress made over the years.
The European Institutions themselves have a unique opportunity to exemplify best practice and OFE has communicated with DIGIT in the Commission to encourage a more open and progressive approach to open procurement including the use of open document formats, open source and open standards, as well as transparent and competitive tendering.
We have set up FixMyDocuments.eu as a platform for monitoring the use of open document formats within the EU institutions through crowdsourcing of notifications.
The use of open document formats has been something of a ‘cause-celebre’ in the market and OFE has consistently supported the use of odf for editable documents. It was a strong contributor to the UK Governments consultations and eventual decision, and has been a proactive supporter of the ODF Plugfests held across Europe and the publication of the ODF Infographic available in some eight local languages.
OFE’s work on Procurement is led by its dedicated Task Force.