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According to the most recent data published by Politecnico di Milano, in 2009 the total value of public purchases of goods and services handled through eProcurement services was € 5 billion and 96 million, representing a 60% increase in a year on year comparison.. Furthermore, about 50% of the approximately 11,000 Italian public bodies have used an eProcurement tool. In detail, the research shows that e-tenders and e-auctions accounted for a volume of over € 3.5 billion (1 billion more than 2008). Moreover, e-shops supporting Framework Contracts accounted for about € 1.3 billion (+107% compared to 2008), while the "Electronic Markets" and e-catalogues operating about 250 million euro (+31% compared to 2008).

In relation to the number of purchases handled with eProcurement tools, in 2009 Italian public bodies implemented about 4,000 e-auctions. The number of transactions made through eMarkets, eCatalogues and eShops was even higher, as the deals were more than 100,000.
Hence, with reference to the public procurement sector, the Italian context appears very dynamic and shows a strong increasing trend, with high potential for PEPPOL adoption.. It’s worth noticing that, at least potentially, almost every public body could use eProcurement tools, either implementing their own eProcurement systems or using ePprocurement solutions implemented at local, regional and national levels.

In particular, Consip SpA, a company belonging to the Ministry of Economy and Finance is responsible for developing and promoting eProcurement at a national level. On the other hand, each region may constitute central purchasing bodies for public entities operating in the same territorial area. The regional central purchasing bodies may conclude regional framework contracts compliant to article 26 of the Financial Act 2000. Consip and the regional purchasing bodies collaborate in the framework of an operative and cooperative network with the aim of reaching efficiency and harmonization in the public procurement process – a win-win approach. They have distinctive fields of action (specific/local needs and national/common needs) and in the future they could share a common system for the use of modern technologies for the procurement of goods and services.

All the Italian partners involved in the project (Ministry of Economy and Finance, Consip S.p.A., Intercent-ER, Infocamere, Csi-Piemonte, and lately AVCP) have always been firmly convinced of the importance of the PEPPOL project, primarily for its strategic role in favor of interoperability of eProcurement platforms and standardization of documents even before the objective of crossboarding.

Being aware that these goals can be achieved only in the long run and this requires a durable commitment over a long period of time, thinking “PEPPOL Long term sustainability” is considered definitely necessary. However, this requires, in addition to an operational and financial sustainability, a “Political Sustainability”, the availability of strong backing from Governments and the European Commission, and a “Strategic Vision”, in particular a clear plan to achieve the objectives over a multi-year term.

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