On 22 July 2016, the WTO announced that it has launched an enhanced version of its e-GPA web portal (version 2.0). This enhanced portal provides a single point of access to the market access information under the WTO’s revised Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), together with related information that the GPA parties are committed to provide. The portal serves as a market access information tool for governments, businesses and other interested parties. The announcement said --
The portal offers improved transparency and user-friendly accessibility to relevant government procurement information, and aims to better publicize the market access opportunities (worth up to US$ 1.7 trillion annually) available under the Agreement.
The new version of the portal incorporates the following new or enhanced features:
- an Advanced Search tool — this new tool provides access to a number of advanced features. For example, it allows the user to search and filter the entire GPA coverage database with regard to particular parties, entities, goods and services (including construction services), using keywords to extract relevant information.
- further analysis and reporting tools with regard to the GPA thresholds — these provide user-friendly access to the GPA thresholds both in special drawing rights (SDR) and national currencies. Access to parties' notifications of thresholds in national currencies via the site is made easy.
- additional means for the user to access information on current procurement opportunities, applicable national legislation and more links to notifications to publication media provided by parties as set out in Appendices II, III and IV of the revised GPA.
- a module to handle modifications to coverage — this enables the user to monitor changes in parties' coverage commitments arising from the modifications process under Article XIX, to compare different versions of coverage arising from this process, to undertake queries in the database and to generate reports. This module will also keep the e-GPA data on coverage up to date on a permanent basis, and will support parties in improving their efficiency in the administration of the Agreement
The e-GPA portal was developed by the WTO Secretariat with the support of the parties to the Agreement. It benefited from collaboration between the Intellectual Property, Government Procurement and Competition Division, the Information Technology Solutions Division and several other divisions of the Secretariat. It complements other initiatives in the Secretariat — notably the i-TIP project — aimed at creating an integrated, interactive database of trade measures across the Organization.