UNIVERSITY OF ALMERÍA
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
The University of Almería (UAL) is one of Spain’s youngest and most dynamic universities.
It offers over 30 undergraduate, 13 master’s and 37 doctorate programmes. It is equipped with modern facilities that enable students to enjoy a range of cultural and sporting activities.
The UAL currently teaches over 11,500 students and has over 850 teaching staff.
In the framework of the Electronic Administration of the Procurement Service, Estate and Common Services project, the possibility of initiating eTendering, as a further part of the overall Electronic administration project, was mooted to Management.
In order to implement this service, the University assessed various options, eventually opting for the cloud model. This model offered flexibility and enables the University to capitalise on the know-how of more experienced companies.
The University opted for VORTAL. A pilot test was carried out in which the electricity procurement record was processed. As well as tendering, this procedure also included an eAuction.
CLEAR OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS THAT SUPPORT THEM
The introduction of this new tool into the working methodology at the University and suppliers brought inevitable changes that had to be explained and apportioned value. In order to ensure that the implementation of eTendering was gradual and smooth, both within the organisation as well as outside of it, we designed a plan based on 5 strategic pillars:
Transparency is not only a theoretical concept. It should provide more tangible items such as ensuring traceability of the process from its inception so that both the time and form of decision-making can be checked and recreated at any moment. It should be possible to reproduce the process in great detail if this is called for during audits, ensuring the principle of free competition.
Efficiency and the optimisation of resources are fundamental principles that guide our management and are even more important in times like the present.
Traditional economic theory holds that optimal use of resources is obtained through open, transparent and non-discriminatory procurement allowing more and better goods to be acquired at the lowest possible cost regimes.
PARTICIPATION OF PYMES AND MIPYMES
According to the EU, the participation of PYMES (Small and Medium-sized Companies) and MIPYMES (Micro, Small and Medium-sized Companies) is too small within public procurement. Various analyses have shown that this type of company come across many obstacles in order to access public tenders.
During the development of the project, special attention has been paid to helping assist bidders to install and use digital certificates and advising them on the preparation of administrative documentation.
The training and experience received by bidders has facilitated their access to other bids issued by other public entities. We also collaborate in creating webinars and manuals to resolve any potential difficulties that businesses could find themselves at the time of tender.
BRINGING PUBLIC PROCUREMENT TO CITIZENS
The 2.0 focus applied to procurement activity not only involves the use of a number of tools such as social networks or virtual worlds, including blogs, video blogs and other elements. It must involve a solid commitment to transparency and dissemination of public procurement activity, being accountable to society with regard to how economic resources earmarked for public services are used.
The University has set up a protocol for early information so that companies can meet and, where appropriate, start preparing the necessary documentation for participation in public procurement procedures planned by the university.
USER TRAINING PLAN
One of the key factors in the success of any project of this type is the user training and support in each of the processes, in order to prevent natural resistance to change.
The feeling of abandonment (and subsequent rejection) that users experience when they are confronted with new tools, is largely mitigated by a correct and consistent helpful approach from the implementation team.