E-Auctions Save Millions, But Not Used Enough

More widespread use of electronic auctions in public procurement processes (90% of all e-auctions were under current government) has led to a saving of around EUR 30 million, but it is only a drop in the ocean compared to what could have been saved.

Number of bidders versus saving - graph: TIS

Based on calculations published on the website of Transparency International Slovakia (TIS), if e-auctions were used on just one third of all procurement processes, the saving would be in the range of EUR 250 million. The biggest advantage is that in general more tenderers take part and so the winning bid usually means big savings of up to 15%.

E-auctions should limit the scope for corruption and crony practices, but it is not entirely foolproof either. In a recent e-auction in June, someone flooded the servers of competitors with thousands of e-mails and so blocked them at the end of the bidding. The Ministry of Culture, which held the e-auction, was helpless, saying only that the bidders’ complaints were based on a “technical fault” on their side, for which the Ministry takes no liability.

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