THE STATE has created a web site through which offices, municipalities and state firms will start purchasing common goods and services. The web marketplace, launched on July 1, is expected to run its first trade in autumn.

The website, www.eks.sk, should run similarly to eBay. The state and the municipalities will publish their demands and the system will send emails to all registered suppliers with tender conditions. Then, firms will publish the price they want for their goods or services and compete with other bidders for the lowest price, according to the Sme daily.

The state will buy goods and services from €1,000 to €134,000, while state-run companies have a limit of up to €207,000, and in the case of construction projects, such as changing windows or installing floors, the price is allowed to reach €5.2 million.

Developing the site cost the state €3.5 million, and maintenance should come to €167,000 per year. On the other hand, the state should save up to €13 million annually thanks to the e-market, according to Sme.

Participants cannot trade via the web marketplace for now, but businesses willing to offer their services and goods to the state can register there. The Interior Ministry will begin the trading when a sufficient number of suppliers are registered, Tatiana Behrová, an aide to Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, told Sme.

Behrová expects the first deal on the e-marketplace to take place this autumn. By then, the Interior Ministry and the supplies of the marketplace will be fine-tuning the purchasing process, she said.

Suppliers need only to fill in identification information, contacts and choose the sectors in which they want to receive notices on running tenders. Registration is free, but suppliers willing to compete have to be registered on the list of entrepreneurs run by the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO), which costs €66.