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Euro-procurement Officers to Lay Down Guidance on Cloud Purchasing
Source: www.publictechnology.net
Source Date: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Created: Sep 27, 2012

Public sector procurement officers from across Europe will make up a new body – the European Cloud Partnership – to set standards for public bodies engaged in purchasing Cloud services.
As part of the newly published European Commission Cloud Computing strategy, the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) will, under the guidance of a Steering Board, bring together public procurement authorities and industry consortia to implement pre-commercial procurement actions.
This, says the Commission, will allow them to:

  • identify public sector Cloud Computing requirements
  • to develop specifications for IT procurement,
  • procure reference implementations.

The wider objective is what is described as an “advance towards common and even joint procurement of Cloud Computing services by public bodies on the basis of common user requirements.”
This will, hopes the Commission, result in a European flavour to procurements of Cloud services which today are dominated by international, mostly US, providers.
 “Via procurement requirements that will be promoted by participating Member States and public authorities for use throughout the EU, its aim is to ensure that the commercial offer of Cloud Computing in Europe, both of the public and of the private sector, is adapted to European needs,” it states.
The Steering Board will advise on strategic orientations, in particular with regard to public sector adoption of Cloud Computing. At implementation level  an initial budget of €10million has been earmarked for a pre-commercial procurement project which the Commission says will require close coordination and a joining of forces between different public sector actors across several Member States in order to “consolidate public sector requirements for procurement and use of Cloud Computing services.”
So who’s on the Steering Board – which is due to meet for the first time later this year?
Well, that’s up to Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, who will appoint the Chair and the members of the board. Who that will be remains to be seen, but it’s been stated that the Steering Board “may” consult with industrial, academic and governmental bodies and experts.

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