The German eTendering cross-platform communication standards project named 'XVergabe' now has an official website (http://www.xvergabe.org/confluence). The standards are planned to be available in early 2012, and they are expected to mark the beginning of a new era in German eTendering.
The xvergabe.org website contains basic project information as well as the most important documents that are released as part as the project work. Moreover, it includes useful links, contact details and information regarding the next steps of the project.
In Germany, less than 5 % of all tenders in public procurement processes are being transmitted electronically. From a bidder's point of view, an important reason for this is the fragmented and incompatible interfaces of the solutions providers. The individual eTendering platforms of the federal government, the federated states' governments and the local councils are not interoperable and they are not providing uniform access to the bidders. This means that bidders should use different systems in order to be able to participate electronically in all public procurements.
The project XVergabe aims to develop platform-independent eTendering standards for the cross-platform exchange of documents and data between the bidders and the eTendering platforms. This will lead to a higher bidder acceptance and thus to a greater participation in the electronic procurement process. The long-term goal is the development of a so-called Multi-Platform Bid-Client (MPBC), through which the bidders will be able to use the various eTendering platforms.
The XVergabe project was initiated in late 2007 by the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern - BMI, in German) as part of the 'Germany online' strategy. The Procurement Office of the Ministry of the Interior is in charge of the project, together with the Ministry of Finance of North Rhine-Westphalia and the German Federal Association of Materials Management, Purchase and Logistics (BME). The BMI's financial support to the project comes from its IT investment programme.