EC forges e-business agreement

PricewaterhouseCoopers has signed an agreement with the European Commission in a bid to further the company’s plans for a secure pan-European e-business network. The contract to provide certification services for Community research programmes to the EC will allow companies to submit research proposals securely over the Internet.

The consultancy giant sees the work, which is the first agreement of its kind, as an important development in the expansion of the firm’s Certification Service Provider infrastructure.

Businesses using the system, which will be operational from next month, will benefit from improved efficiency, speed and cost savings. Recent research provided estimates that the annual CSP global market will be worth $900m by 2001.

Alastair MacWillson, partner for technology risk services within the firm’s Global Risk Management Solutions practice told Management Consultancy: “As a CSP provider in Europe, PricewaterhouseCoopers is setting an immediate precedent for this important service. Our work will speed the adoption of e-business across Europe.”

The contract’s signing comes as the Department of Trade & Industry is actively seeking to drive e-business forward. The EC has set a target of 25 percent of its public procurement transactions to take place electronically by 2003, while the UK government has announced targets of procuring 90 percent of routine goods electronically by 2000/2001 and making 25 percent of government services available on-line by 2001.

MacWillson added: “As a firm, we see the importance of adopting a position of trust and independence to support the current e-business revolution.

This contract demonstrates our commitment to be at the vanguard of e-business services.”

Full details on the European Commission’s e-business policy are available on 0032 2 299 0041.

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