A tender on electronic signature published by Difi was recently won by the Polish company Unizeto. Through the Unizeto agreement Norwegian public entities will be able to check and validate eSignatures based on electronic IDs from more than 300 providers in Europe. The agreement between Difi and Unizeto was of course signed electronically.
Through the newly signed agreement with Unizeto correctness and quality of eSignatures based on eIDs from more than 300 providers throughout Europe can be assessed. The service will firstly be piloted in the PEPPOL project for electronic tendering across borders in Europe. In the scope of PEPPOL, the service is available to any partner in the project.
The intention of Difi is to prolong the contract to make the service available as a common eID service for all Norwegian public entities with a need to receive electronically signed correspondence from abroad.
Tendering increasingly has an international scope, and cross-border recognition of eSignatures is a pre-requisite for cross-border electronic tendering. A tenderer anywhere in Europe must be able to respond to a call by signing the tender using his own, national eID, provided that the eID is valid and has the required quality. This way you get a wider competition.
-Use of eSignatures not only contributes to more efficient processes, the security of the processes is also increased by authenticity and proof regarding who has delivered the offer and that it has not been changed along the way, says André Hoddevik, project director of PEPPOL.
The scope of cross-border use of eSignatures in PEPPOL may even be wider than tendering, e.g. in many countries lack of interoperability of eSignatures is identified as a hindrance to cross-border e-invoicing.
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