ETHICS was originally developed in partnership with SKI and put into use as early as 1999. SKI carries out call for tenders on behalf of public authorities in Denmark. There are two types of SKI contracts: Voluntary agreements which the authorities may choose to use, and binding conctracts, where the authorities commit to a minimum value or volume.
SKI uses ETHICS to carry out both open and restricted procedures and to carry out sub-procedures on existing framework agreements. At the sub-procedures only those suppliers who are already on an existing framework agreement are invited. Typical to goods and services where prices change – for example, electronics and computer equipment – it is an advantage to continuously make these subject to competition.
SKI agreements with binding commitment allows the bidders greater security of turnover than by voluntary agreements. Municipalities and authorities’ commitment to this type of procedure is done by the municipality commit to the agreement and to purchase a minimum amount. When buyers have signed participation commitment electronically in ETHICS, these are merged, so it is possible to see what the expected volume will be. This volume is included in the tender documents when suppliers are invited to bid. As an example SKI made a call for tenders of mulitfunction machines and printers with a binding volume of 400 million DKK. In this case one provider was selected. The result of this type of contract is that the municipalities that have joined a binding commitment achieves much better prices because of the combined commitment than the municipalities that choose to self-purchase of less volume.
The number of contracts SKI makes an object of call for tenders is very large. Therefore SKI has a major administrative gain by making the call for tenders in ETHICS. ETHICS support the processes and ensure that procurement rules are followed. Since ETHICS in its administration library has an extensive collection of standard paradigmes for notices, guidelines and for questionnaires for a very wide range of goods and services it is ensured that contracting authorities can concentrate on the tender subject. It is possible to take advantage of stored experiences and not least use the established, proven procedures to ensure compliance, both of EU rules and the specific requirements for each area, which has already been the subject of a ETHICS call for tenders.