Mike Moore's speeches
Renato Ruggiero's speeches,
A demonstration on the application of information technology in government
procurement, organized by the Secretariat on 24 June at the WTO headquarters, underscored
that a number of WTO Members--developed, in transition and developing--are already taking
advantage of the Internet in procurement.
Experts from Canada, the
European Communities, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Singapore and the United
States and the WTO Secretariat gave on-line demonstrations. There were also panel
discussions on policy issues arising from the use of information technology to facilitate
access to information on procurement opportunities and on contracts awards; the
possibility of conducting the entire procurement process electronically; and the need for
infrastructure building and technical cooperation in developing countries.
demonstrations also showed that electronic procurement, in particular electronic
tendering, is becoming a reality in a number of countries with pilot projects already
operational or in the planning stage. Among the topics discussed were ensuring the
security and confidentiality of bids submitted electronically and in the bid opening
process, and the compatibility of IT standards employed.
said developing countries can also benefit quickly from the use of information technology
in improving their government procurement by leapfrogging increasingly outdated
technologies. It was recognized that this would require investment in infrastructure and
training for both within the government and of suppliers, and experts from some developing
and transition economies described how they were able to clear this hurdle. Some experts
from industrialized countries expressed the readiness of their governments to provide
technical cooperation in this regard.
the event, Mr. Adrian Otten, Director of the Intellectual Property and Investment
Division, said that the event had relevance to ongoing WTO work in three areas: the
Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement established at the Singapore
Ministerial; the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement, where Parties are
negotiating, among other things, on adapting the Agreement to recent developments in
information technology; and the work programme on electronic commerce called for by the
Second Ministerial Conference held last month.
potential benefits of Internet use highlighted by the speakers were the following: gains
in efficiency for both government purchasers and suppliers as a result of time and cost
savings; small and medium-scale enterprises and suppliers in remote locations can have
equal access to procurement information as companies with large sales staff and local
suppliers; all suppliers can track down quickly and efficiently procurement data of
interest to them as well as national regulations and procedures through search engines;
the increasing use of systems to allow for the ordering and delivery of tender documents
electronically; and increased competition for government procurement contracts with a
significantly larger average number of bids.
conducted the on-line demonstrations: Mr. Ken Stepka of NASA on the United States'
Commerce Business Daily Net and Mr. Stephen Ward on EDS-ULAN II Superstore, GSA Advantage
and FedCenter Virtual Shopping Mall; Mr. Lee How Sheng and Mr. Mark Tan on Singapore's
GITIS (Government Tendering Information System) and on MIPS (Ministry of Defence Internet
Procurement System), respectively; Mr. Piotr-Niels Górecki on Poland's Public Procurement
Bulletin; Ms. Rosanna Fiorin on Canada's MERX Electronic Tendering System; Mr. Antonio G.
Schleske Fara on Mexico's COMPRANET Electronic System for Government Procurement; Ms. Vivi
Michou on the European Communities' SIMAP (Système d'Information pour les Marchés
Publics); Ms. Helga M. Stromme on Norway's DOFFIN (Database on Official Information on
Public Procurement); and Mr. Atsushi Takata on Japan's Government Procurement Database
System. Mrs. Vesile Kulaçoglu presented the WTO Secretariat's Government Procurement site
on the WTO Homepage (www.wto.org).
discussions were led by Mr. Stepka of the NASA; Mr. Lee How Sheng of the Ministry of
Finance of Singapore; Mr. Górecki of the Polish Office for Government Procurement; Mr.
Auke Haagasma of the DG XV EC; Mr. Ward of EDS, Inc.; Mr. Matti Salminen of Finnish
Government Publications: Mr. Schleske Farah of SEDOCAM; and Mr. Hans Erik Hansen of IBM