Adopting sustainable eProcurement practices an implementation guide for local authorities with special attention to the role of SMEs as potential suppliers

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1. Introduction

1.1 Background

This guide is an output of the European Union. Interreg IIIB, North West Europe Public Sector eProcurement Project (EPROC),with partners in Germany, Ireland, Wales and the Netherlands. This project encourages and supports the adoption of new digital procurement processes and tools by SMEs – particularly in the rural areas - which might otherwise find themselves disadvantaged as a result of new eProcurement systems, such as adopted by Local Authorities.

Governments – both at national and regional levels – are major clients of private companies. No other clients buy as much as governments do.
Governments are obliged to follow European and national rules regarding the way one should deal with suppliers: on the basis of transparency and
impartiality, whilst payment should be made within reasonable timeframes. Governments can make certain requirements as to the products they wish to buy and how the procurement process should look like. If they do this in a professional way, other organisations, in particular smaller businesses, may be stimulated to follow in their footsteps.

This guide focuses on the implementation of sustainable electronic procurement with an emphasis on how to implement sustainability in the
procurement process of local authorities (LAs).

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