At the afternoon session “Collaborative E-procurement: ICT Empowering Citizens, Businesses and Public Authorities,” Chair Francisco Garcia Moran started by speaking on the benefits.  For example, on the buyer-oriented side,  companies can learn from each other how to modernize; on the supplier side, they can gain customers and scale down to a single point of contact.

Moderator Angela Russo of CONSIP posed two questions to all panelists: What has changed since governmentsts have used eProcurement, and what are the major benefits?

Chong Suk-Kang of the Public Procurement Service (PPS) spoke on Korea’s ON-line E-Procurement System (KONEPS) and its divisions of e-bidding, e-contracting, e-payment, and the online shopping mall.  KONEPS has enhanced efficiency and transparency and saved $8.1 billion in annual transaction costs.

Radu  Bogdan Savonea of SEAP said Romania’s Public Acquisitions Electronic System was created in 2002 and has processed 6 billion Euros worth of transactions.  SEAP was created because of the need for a more efficient system and transparency for public procurement.  Currently, 40% of bids are through electronic system.  They aim for 50% as soon as next year and 60-70% in 2012.  One of their ongoing goals is to make the system more user-friendly and accessible.

Kathleen Turco described GSA’s role: “We are like the middleman.”  One may be surprised to learn that GSA ranks #30 in Forbes 500.  This Administration’s High Priority Performance goals focus on sustainability, such as eliminating waste in operations.  They have created GSA Advantage!, a database of environmental products for sale.

The last speaker, Gian Luigi Albano, of CONSIP, lightened the discussion by joking that the individual time limit of 6 minutes was usually what one allowed to tell a joke.  He explained that public procurement is actually a very good tool to achieve strategic policies such as innovation, sustainability, and effects on the market structure.