Northern European Countries Target eProcurement Standard Based upon UBL 2.0
Northern European Countries Coordinate on the Development of an eProcurement Standard
From eGovernment News. 16-January-2007. EU Institutions — eProcurement/Infrastructure and Interoperability
A cooperation of Northern European Countries has agreed on a common implementation of the eProcurement standard UBL 2.0. All European countries are now invited to join the project at a workshop to be held in Brussels on 15 February 2007.
Public administrations of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland have formed, with the contribution of the United Kingdom, a cooperation in order to support domestic and cross border electronic trade. The name of the collaboration is NES (Northern European Subset) and its aim is to simplify the use of eProcurement for buyers and suppliers, especially among SMEs.
The participating countries have identified the urgent need for an open XML based standard covering the entire procurement process from catalogue to invoice. Such a standard is a prerequisite to reaping the benefits of a full electronic procurement cycle. The open international eProcurement standard UBL 2.0 from OASIS is seen by NES as the standard that can fulfill this at present.
The NES countries have therefore made a northern European implementation of UBL 2.0 in order to create a common platform for eProcurement. Implementation guides, business rules and processes show how the participating countries plan to apply UBL. A description of the implementation has just been made available for public review and can be found at the NES website http://www.nesubl.eu/. The plan is to publish the final versions of the documents in February 2007.
The NES countries see UBL as a stepping stone to a unified eProcurement standard within UN/CEFACT, and are therefore actively involved in the work of converging UBL with UN/CEFACT. UBL and the UN/CEFACT Supply Chain Group (TBG1) began the Convergence Project in July 2006 and have already converged on business requirements for seven documents, including the cross industry invoice. The remaining documents will be converged during 2007.
NES also sees a unified European eProcurement standard as an instrument for achieving the goals set in the European Action plan i2010 and is therefore encouraging other European countries to join the cooperation and make the implementation available for use in all EU countries. In order to inform other European countries about NES work and to welcome other countries join the work, the NES steering group will host a workshop in Brussels on 15 February 2007.
Development of NES is inspired by two years of active deployment in Denmark that legalized use of UBL under the banner OIOXML. Denmark also published in November 2006 an implementation of UBL 2.0 called OIOUBL. Since the work in NES and in Denmark has taken place in parallel, there is already alignment between OIOUBL and NES in the areas where they overlap. ERP-vendors in Denmark have already begun work to implement the standard in their systems and pilot testing has started.
The public sector in Iceland is planning to send its first invoice based on a NES implementation of UBL on 1 March 2007. Sweden has already implemented an invoice based on UBL. Electronic invoicing will be mandatory for Swedish Central Agencies from July 2008.
The cooperation will continue in 2007 to support implementation and further development.
- OASIS UBL
- Nothern European Subset (NES)
- NES Workshop
- eGovO News article: "Danes go XML to boost eGovernment"
(c) European Communities 2007
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