The European Union is once again attempting to expand its usage of e-procurement and e-invoicing solutions, intent on expanding the IT industry during a time when rampant fiscal crises and economic downturns dominate the headlines. ITWorld reports that even though 35 percent of Internet users choose not to purchase online, the EU intends to coordinate amongst member countries to build the required infrastructure in an effort to expand paperless administrative services. The cost of building up the infrastructure alone makes up approximately 80 percent of the deployment expense.
The European Commission’s newest push to regulate e-invoicing across the EU’s member countries has come about due to varied standards and policies amongst those who have already mandated its use. Recently, the process of mandating automated invoice management in business-to-government transactions has taken root in several South American countries and even within the U.S. government as well, where several agencies, including the Treasury Department, are rolling out their own e-invoicing mandates in an effort to reduce costs and enhance services to the public.
Reports indicate that several member states have already begun the process in an effort to speed adoption and promote the technology as the standard for government procurement across the EU. The European Commission intends to back the measures with anti-discrimination legislation that will help prevent differential treatment based on one’s country of residence.