Sustainable E-Procurements Framework: Taking Stock Of Information Governance Issues

Kirsten Anne Ferguson-Boucher, Sangeeta Khorana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


E-public procurement is an emerging feature of the EU trading system, with electronic purchase procedures increasingly being implemented through Web based buying tools and public records being held digitally in complex and dynamic systems. The multifaceted and fluid information ecology, which includes the cloud, mobile computing, social media and big data, requires efficient management of the digital assets. Growing e-procurement activity associated with new and evolving business models for storage, access and dissemination has increased the need for effective information governance and assurance. This information and knowledge aspect of the broader procurement architecture makes it imperative to enhance confidence in the soundness of the information governance and assurance processes. Procurement activity, at the multilateral level, is governed by the WTO (World Trade Organization) GPA (Government Procurement Agreement), which is a plurilateral agreement, i.e. applies only to signatories. In its present form, the Agreement contains very limited provisions concerning e-procurement and merely foresees that parties shall consult regularly on developments in this area (WTO 2006). The EU has initiated an e-procurement strategy but the uptake of specific initiatives such as the cloud, has been limited. Main factors influencing EU Member States reluctance to adopt e-procurements are first, apprehension with regard to information governance and assurance aspects; and, second, lack of a clear and coherent legal framework to facilitate e-procurements.
This paper evaluates the EU’s recent strategy for e-procurement (European Commission 2012) and explores whether an holistic and cross disciplinary framework can support the broader aims of EU policy (2004, 2011). We propose a theoretical framework which offers a strategic and technology neutral structure for managing procurement related information. This employs common standards and a scalable roadmap, resting on four-pillars of procurement: transparency, accountability, competition, and equity. Within the current EU e-procurement agenda our framework suggests that legal and regulatory convergence, harmonisation of technical standards, and wider market access are the critical success factors for a sustainable e-procurement framework. Our model recognises four main external interdisciplinary drivers: strategic direction; alignment and delivery of business values; performance measurement and indicators; and information governance and assurance. We conclude that an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable public procurement is imperative in addressing the complexity of the current procurement landscape, and that this is a prerequisite for a fully realised internal common market.
Kirsten Ferguson-Boucher, Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth |University, Wales
Dr Sangeeta Khorana, School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Wales
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationE Public Procurement in Europe Public Management Technologies and Processes of Change
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2013
EventProceedings of the 1st European Conference on e-Public Procurement (ECPP) - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 20 Mar 201320 Mar 2013


ConferenceProceedings of the 1st European Conference on e-Public Procurement (ECPP)
Period20 Mar 201320 Mar 2013


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