ECIS welcomes European public procurement based on open standards ECIS welcomes the European Commission’s recognition of open standards developed by global fora and consortia for reference in public procurement. In the past, standards developed by global consortia organized on the basis of open and transparent principles, such as the World Wide Web Consortiusm (W3C) and Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), could not be cited in public procurement documents.

The European Union’s ICT standardization regulation adopted in October 2012, Regulation 1015/2012, took a new, more inclusive approach. And in April, 2014, the European Commission took the next step adopting its first implementing decision on the basis of the Regulation setting out six standards which governments may cite in requests for procurement.

As the Commission said in adopting the new approach, now governments can help avoid “lock-in” to products which rely on proprietary standards. Instead, they can cite to open standards which (as the Commission noted) will help “encourage competition in the supply of interoperabile ICT solutions.”

Our reason for being is to encourage interoperability. This decision holds the promise of increased efficiency and cost savings for government, and benefits to consumers.

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