Ireland takes first step towards eInvoicing compliance

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD signs Ireland up as a PEPPOL Authority member with, leading European public eProcurement network, OpenPEPPOL

Dublin, Thursday, 18 January 2018; The Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., today, signed an agreement with André Hoddevik, Secretary General, OpenPEPPOL officially confirming Ireland’s status as a PEPPOL Authority member. OpenPEPPOL is an international non-profit association responsible for coordinating the PEPPOL eDelivery network for eProcurement and eInvoicing.

The PEPPOL eDelivery network enables businesses to ‘Connect Once – Connect to All’ European Public Sector buyers. Joining OpenPEPPOL is an important part of the Ireland’s strategy to supporting compliance with the European eInvoicing Directive (2014/55/EU), ultimately making it easier for businesses to engage with Government online.

The European eInvoicing Directive obliges all Public Sector Bodies to be able to receive electronic invoices (eInvoices) by April 2019. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) will operate the PEPPOL Authority function on behalf of the Government and will facilitate Public Sector Bodies in meeting their eInvoicing obligation by providing a framework of commercially available solutions. There is no requirement on suppliers in Ireland to send eInvoices to Irish Public Sector Bodies, at this time.

Speaking today at the official signing, the Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D. said:
‘As a PEPPOL Authority member, Ireland will participate in the development and governance of the PEPPOL network. Ireland will now be part of a wider international community that is focused on harnessing digital technology to create opportunities for greater transparency and competition in public procurement, better value for money for the tax payer and reducing the environmental impact of traditional paper-based processes.’

On Ireland officially becoming a PEPPOL Authority Member, Mr Paul Quinn, Government Chief Procurement Officer and CEO of the OGP noted:
‘Today’s membership agreement marks an important initial step for Ireland in becoming compliant with the European eInvoicing Directive and meeting the April 2019 deadline. The interoperability that the PEPPOL network delivers is key to the standards based, sector-led approach to eInvoicing being adopted by Ireland, providing a ‘Connect Once – Connect to All’ channel for suppliers, while respecting the diversity of the public and private sectors both here and throughout Europe.’

Mr André Hoddevik, OpenPEPPOL said:
‘OpenPEPPOL welcomes Ireland as a PEPPOL Authority member. The thorough assessment made by the Irish Government before taking this step, and the clear linking between joining OpenPEPPOL and the implementation of the European eInvoicing Directive should serve as an example also for other countries in Europe. Ireland joins a growing number of European countries using PEPPOL as a cornerstone for their national eInvoicing activities. The continued growth of OpenPEPPOL well positions the association to support and enable the move towards the Digital Single Market.’

Finally, Minister O’Donovan concluded by noting:
‘The eInvoicing Directive represents a key enabler of trade among the European Member States by simplifying and standardising the exchange of invoices in public procurement for SME’s and businesses of all sizes. Membership of OpenPEPPOL and the eInvoicing initiative are further examples of Ireland’s commitment to national and European eGovernment strategies, aimed at modernising public administrations across Member States, to build a stronger Europe for the future.’

Notes to the Editor:
For further information please contact:
Maura Howe, Communications Manager, eInvoicing Ireland, Office of Government Procurement, / 076 100 8345

About the eInvoicing Ireland programme
eInvoicing Ireland, based in the Office of Government Procurement (OGP), is responsible for supporting the Government to become compliant with the European eInvoicing Directive (2014/55/EU). Coordinating the standards based, sector-led approach to eInvoicing, the programme is governed by a Steering Committee of senior management representatives from Health, Education, Central and Local Government, the OGP and the OGCIO, similar to the OGP model. eInvoicing Ireland is engaging with Public Sector Bodies (PSBs), suppliers and service providers to facilitate compliance with the Directive.

eInvoicing Ireland is working with the OGP to:
• develop a procurement framework of commercially available solutions, to enable compliance with the Directive across all PSBs
• establish a working PEPPOL Authority which will participate in the development and governance of the PEPPOL specifications and network
• develop a communications campaign to inform all the stakeholders of the relevant obligations and the next steps towards compliance.

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About OpenPEPPOL
OpenPEPPOL is a non-profit international association under Belgian law (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif – AISBL) and consists of both public sector and private members. The association has assumed full responsibility for the development and maintenance of the PEPPOL specifications, building blocks and its services and implementation across Europe.
The purpose of OpenPEPPOL is to enable European businesses to easily deal electronically with any European public sector buyers in their procurement processes, thereby increasing opportunities for greater competition for government contracts and providing better value for tax payers’ money.

The Association provides an authoritative point of reference for the PEPPOL eDelivery network for eProcurement and eInvoicing and the organisations that use it, ensuring high level governance and continuation of the agreement infrastructure. OpenPEPPOL is working towards providing its stakeholders with widely accepted technology standards and specifications, while ensuring sustainability and promoting and supporting the wider use of the PEPPOL specifications, building blocks and services.

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