The BII Workshop was established in May 2007 with the objective of harmonising electronic procurement in Europe. The BII Workshop is a standardisation initiative within CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). It provides a framework for interoperability in pan-European electronic transactions expressed as a set of technical specifications.
During the second phase of the Workshop (CEN WS/BII2) a set of technical specifications – “CEN BII Profiles” – were documented and published as five CEN Workshop Agreements (CWAs), which are currently used across Europe. The profiles are designed to facilitate effective public e-procurement based on a modular approach for implementation, with a focus on global interoperability.
The BII profiles can be seen as “agreements” on message contents and business processes. The profile descriptions focus on the core information elements that typically cater to the majority of user requirements applicable across Europe and lower the need for detailed bilateral agreements between the trading partners.
Today, the Workshop is in its third development phase (CEN WS/BII3) that began on March 2013 with the approval of the business plan. Current activities are focused on improving the specifications, including additional business requirements and ensuring wider adoption. Participation in CEN WS/BII3 activities is open to all interested organisations.
The BII specifications have been implemented in several institutions, including the European Commission, and government agencies in Norway, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Iceland, etc.