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Using Standards for ICT procurement

The Guide: Using standards for ICT procurement is designed to help those actors who are responsible for both planning and purchasing ICT systems and services under the EU procurement directives. The best way to use this Guide is to identify what role (or roles) you carry out. Once you have done this, you can read the associated section – and join the conversation.

It is important to note that this Guide does not give a list of recommended standards for use by public authorities when planning and procuring ICT goods and services. This would not be possible since the standards most relevant to each awarding authority will vary according to particular functional needs and the wider set of systems the procured system has to interact with.

However, the Guide:

  • Offers recommendations on elements of best practice in ICT procurement, with practical examples.
  • Suggests some concrete ways in which procurement documents and contracts for ICT might be expressed. The selection process and the acceptance of results are not covered, however.
  • Gives references to sources of more detailed procurement guidance and information.

This Guide is intended to help public authorities procure ICT goods and services and is not intended as legal advice. Those responsible for procurement or technical services should ensure that all recommended stages comply with national and EU legal requirements, and seek legal support wherever necessary.


Benefits of using Standards
When a public authority is overly dependent on a single vendor for its ICT systems there will be a lack of competition for the provision of these systems and value for money might not be achieved in the long term. Symptoms of possible lock-in include excessive use of specific brand names of products in procurement documents, and requests for backward compatibility with proprietary systems of which only a few suppliers have knowledge.
Read more here