July 2008

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e-Procurement by Coal India Ltd. in a Big Way

Coal India Limited (CIL) has planned to procure about one-third of its equipment, consumables, spare parts and other stores, electronically in order to cut delays and enable efficiency.

This public sector undertaking aims at purchasing INR 34,000 million worth of equipment and consumables in the financial year 2009 through this platform, which would help them to integrate with buyers and suppliers.

Coal India happens to be the first public sector enterprise to offer
4-models of e-Procurement. The 4-models offered under e-Procurement are- e-Tendering with multiple bids, reverse e-Auction with price bid and reverse e-Auction with quantity and price bidding.

e-Tendering will facilitate conversion of the the physical into an electronic form. Under this new system, eligible vendors can quote from any place on the Internet and the buyer will have the option of obtaining the techno-commercial bid manually or over the Internet.

The eight subsidiaries of Coal India might opt for this electronic platform, as well. MSTC (another public sector company) has been selected as the service provider. The e-Procurement project is strictly under the confines of the Information Technology Act of 2000 and whereby the bidders will have to conform to the guidelines.

In order to satisfy the bidders with the security issues, CIL has also engaged certification agency CERT-IN in the e-Procurement system. This will help to devise a secure and encrypted platform both for the bidders and Coal India as well. CIL has signed an integrity pact with Transparency International and is therefore committed to provide proper and secured services to its customers.

Estonia invites Ideas to improve e-Services

The Government of Estonia has invited ideas and proposals through an ‘idea competition’ for improving e-Services. People can forward their ideas through the state website. Speaking on the initiative, country’s Regional Minister Siim-Valmar Kiisler stated that the website would bring together the citizen initiative and development of the e-State, which would be very beneficial for the future of Estonia.

The website allows people not only to submit their ideas but also a host of other options related to the state affairs such as participation in the legislative procedure, as the ministry publishes the draft legislation currently being discussed and invites public discussion which gives all interested parties the opportunity to express their position. European Union has funded a freeware platform which could also be used outside Estonia as there is high level of international interest in the Estonian e-Government initiative.

e-Procurement launched by Hungarian Government

The Government of Hungary plans to introduce an Electronic Public Procurement (EPP) system by the year 2010 by amending its present Act on public procurement. The main objective behind the initiative is to make public procurement simpler, faster and more transparent. The new system would be covering electronic publication of calls for tenders as well as other aspects of the public procurement procedures which includes the announcement of winner and appeal procedures.

The system is aiming at cutting down the tender processing time, which would shorten the deadlines for the publication of the winners. The e-Procurement project would be introduced in two phases—between July 2009 and July 2010. A feasibility study is being carried to review similar services in other countries such as UK, Denmark, Italy, Romania and in the private sector in Hungary, which would set the yardsticks for the new system.

Utah’s Official Web Portal receives the Best of State Award Again!

The official website of the state of Utah, Utah.gov, is the recipient of the Best of State award for the year 2008 in the category of ‘Community Development’, due to its extensive services rendered, to over more than 1000 citizens of that state. According to a release from the state, the website has gained popularity as being the most visited website, leading up to nearly two million visits per month.

While announcing the award, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, appreciated the service provided by the web site and congratulated the staff at the Department of Technology Services and all agencies who are responsible for creating and maintaining the website. He said, “This recognition shows our commitment to providing innovative and cutting-edge resources to businesses and citizens alike.”

Commenting on the accessibility of the website, Steven Fletcher, state CIO and Executive Director of the Department of Technology Services said, “Utah.gov provides both businesses and citizens easy access to hundreds of services and it’s one of the most citizen-friendly sites in the nation”. He further added, “This award recognizes Utah.gov’s robust functionality and its appealing design.”
The choice of the recipient of award is tedious as it is judged by more than 100 judges. The nominees are all judged on their individual merits based on their innovative, originality and excellence in their respective fields along with their impact and contribution to the community as a whole. Hence, the success of the Utah’s website is revealed in the fact that it is the recipient of this award for two consecutive years – 2007 and 2008.

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