The Federal Government founded Bundesbeschaffung GmbH (Federal Procurement Agency, FPA) in 2001 by the Federal Procurement Agency Act (FPA Gesetz) to provide central procurement services to federal agencies, in particular to negotiate framework contracts and make them available to the agencies. Its primary tasks are to bundle requirements to obtain better prices and terms from suppliers and to standardise public purchasing to reduce processing costs and legal risks. From the beginning it was clear that only e-enabled services would lead to consistent usage of the framework contracts and would also strengthen the complete audit ability of the procurement process. The e-procurement-solution hence comprises of an electronic publication and notification platform, a desktop purchasing system, a travel booking tool and a data warehouse and analysis tool where the purchase data is saved for analysis and reporting.
The FPA is a non-profit organisation providing free services to their mandatory clients. Federal Ministries are obliged to order from these contracts – unless they are able to obtain the same product to better conditions. Other public sector organisations like universities, communities, states, state-owned organisations may take advantage of FPA’s contracts and services for a modest fee. Delivery and payment is done directly between supplier and requesting public body.
The central aim of the FPA is the reduction of costs of public procurement by standardisation and bundling of needs. Since its establishment in 2001 the FPA bought products and services with an accumulated volume of 4.2 Billion Euro and saved a total amount of 705 Million Euro, which means an averaged saving rate of 13.4 percent. In 2009 the FPA reported procurements of 869 Million Euro and savings of 18.05 percent (191 Million Euro).