3 months to eInvoicing compliance timeline for Central Government

Public bodies need to prepare in advance of Framework publication

Friday, 18 January 2019 eInvoicing Update: With three months to go to the European Directive 2014/55/EU on eInvoicing in public procurement timeline for Central Government of April 2019, public bodies need to be looking internally and analysing their current invoice processing environments in anticipation of the publication of the national Framework agreement on eInvoicing.

 

eInvoicing Ireland is recommending that public bodies commit the next few weeks to planning for compliance, analysing invoice volumes, supplier profiles, current invoice systems and the human resources involved. Declan McCormack, eInvoicing Ireland, Programme Manager is reminding;

‘All public bodies that while technology can deliver solutions, it is people that effect change. It is important to think about eInvoicing and change management in terms of people, technology and champions.’

To support public bodies in starting this analysis, eInvoicing Ireland has prepared a worksheet prompting public bodies to consider the relevant eInvoicing goals and strategy for their organisation, be that basic compliance or more integrated automated processing. To access the worksheet please click here.

 

It is also important that public bodies consider the key points of the European Directive and the national approach to eInvoicing in Ireland when assessing their eInvoicing goals:

  • The Directive requires eInvoices to be received and processed by public bodies where they apply to contracts over the EU thresholds. Although it is expected that shared services and other high volume invoice processing bodies will not differentiate between invoices, accepting all eInvoices regardless of thresholds, thresholds maybe a consideration for individual public bodies looking to achieve basic compliance in advance of transitioning to a shared service or co-ordinating body facility. For more information on EU thresholds click to the OGP website here.
  • Suppliers are not being mandated at this time to send eInvoices in Ireland.
  • It is intended that the transposition of the Directive into Irish legislation will allow sub-central Government to postpone the compliance timeline to April 2020. It is a matter for individual public bodies to determine whether the central or sub-central deadline applies to them, in regard to the eInvoicing Directive.

 

eInvoicing Ireland has been working with the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and the sector partners in Central and Local Government, Health and Education to establish a national Framework agreement for the provision of PEPPOL networking and eInvoicing systems and services to the Irish public sector. Tender submissions were received in early December 2018, shortly after which the evaluation process commenced, this process is currently progressing.

 

While the model for eInvoicing in Ireland is based on the Build-to-Share Government approach, with shared services and co-ordinating body facilities providing eInvoicing compliance for sections of the public sector, there are also a wide range of public bodies that will fall outside a shared service or co-ordinating body facility prior to the timelines. The Framework has been developed in recognition of the public sector landscape in Ireland and aims to;

  1. Meet the eInvoicing requirements of the public sector, from shared services and co-ordinating body facilities[1], to individual public bodies and
  2. Cater for those looking to achieve basic compliance as well as those looking for more integrated solutions to realise longer term benefits.

The Framework has therefore been designed with multiple lots, in order to address the differing needs of the respective shared service/ co-ordinating body facilities as well as individual public bodies. The Framework development has taken into consideration the timelines Central Government public bodies are working to ahead of April 2019 and the need for an interim compliant solution before they transition to the FMSS. To minimise timeframes for Central Government, under the Framework a single supplier will cater both for the FMSS and for public bodies who have yet to transition to the FMSS by April 2019.

 

To support public bodies through the procurement and implementation processes eInvoicing Ireland will continue to develop information updates, materials and tools including the recently developed Implementation Pyramid mapping out the basic steps in the implementation journey and accessible here. eInvoicing Ireland will also be supporting the OGP in the development of the Framework documentation and user manuals and guides. For any public bodies not registered on eTenders for the purposes of procuring goods and services they should register as a buyer as soon as possible, please visit www.etenders.gov.ie

 

The eInvoicing Directive has created a real stimulus and opportunity for suppliers and buyers in public procurement across Europe to move forward together and improve how businesses transact with the public sector in Ireland and Europe.

For further information or to be added to the eInvoicing community for regular updates please contact:

The eInvoicing Ireland team at eInvoicing@ogp.gov.ie

[1] A co-ordinating body facility refers to a set of managed administrative and/ or IT services for invoice processing that are co-ordinated at a commercial and/ or operational level by a particular body on behalf of a group of bodies, typically within a common segment of the public sector (e.g. The LGMA provides co-ordinating body facilities in relation to local and regional authorities).