Cloud Computing for the Public Sector in Central Europe - the Legal Landscape

18 December 2014

This paper examines B2G cloud computing services, where an awarding authority or awarding entity (in the meaning of the European Procurement Directives) procures cloud computing services from a private sector provider. We do not discuss the G2G model, where a public sector entity offers cloud-type services to other entities from the public sector.

Cloud for Europe

Cloud computing is one of the key directional strategies of the European Union. In September 2012, the European Commission adopted a strategy for Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe.  The document presents the advantages for the European economy of using the cloud computing data processing business model, as well as the main associated challenges. These advantages exist regardless whether a single awarding entity orders cloud computing services for the whole or part of the public administration, or an awarding entity orders cloud computing services for its own purposes. 

According to the European Commission and numerous studies, the public sector could benefit immensely from cloud computing, by way of, inter alia, savings in taxpayer spending and promoting good standards in back-office processing and e-government services among public authorities, which are not able to develop ergonomic solutions by themselves. Moreover, standardisation – in relation to graphical user interfaces, application programming interfaces, and file formats etc. – saves users and providers valuable time, effort and energy. And, of course, cloud computing provides and fosters standardisation. 

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