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Uruguay to enable e-procurement transactions

February 8, 2005

Uruguay's state reform committee CEPRE expects to adapt the e-procurement section of its website for online transactions during the first half, CEPRE head Pedro Aramendia told BNamericas.

For the time being the site serves purely as a means of posting tender information but is being used by all ministries and large state institutions such as the central bank. Within a few months all state institutions should be using the site to publish tenders, he added.

Cepre is developing the system in-house with a team of 10 technicians and 10 more people developing a supplier catalog and acting as coordinators to liaise with government entities.

Cepre and state telco Antel launched an e-government website in November 2003 which now offers seven procedures for individuals and eight for enterprises as well as bill payment and service requests at Antel and access to information on state tenders.

In the next three months Cepre expects to install a payment gateway on the site in partnership with state bank Banco República, which hosts about 50% of Uruguay's consumer accounts. Other banks will join the system later, Aramendia said.

Online tax declarations are obligatory for major taxpayers such as large corporations and Cepre now aims to make the service available for a wider audience. Aramendi expects over 50% of enterprises and professionals to be declaring online by the end of 2005.

Aramendia believes adoption of complex digital signature solutions would complicate the e-government system as it is today and would be difficult to apply immediately to those procedures already online. Similarly the government is not yet ready to explore the use of digital invoicing, although Cepre will promote the use of simple digital signatures, which some firms are already using.

A major achievement for Cepre in 2004 was the creation of an online system for management of the public health system, centralizing information within the health ministry. This is one of the areas that has most potential this year for justifying the move to e-government, Aramendia said.

Source: BNamericas

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