Electronic procurement or e-procurement, is purchase and sale of products and services through the internet. Also referred to as supplier exchange, it involves business-to-business or business-to-consumer or business-to-government purchases and sales.
A well-developed e-procurement platform:
- Enables trade between entities.
- Brings in transparency and security in the process.
- Reduces the processing time.
- Cuts down on unnecessary paper work for online tenders.
- Saves time.
- Vendors can avoid waiting in long queues.
- Members can login at their convenience to participate in the tender e-procurement process
Various State Governments and departments, in India, have introduced e-tenders. The organisations are leveraging Information Technology to reach out to the most suitable suppliers.
As per the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, digital signatures are legally valid and can be used to sign electronic documents. Similar to a manual signature, a digital signature helps authenticate the identity of the sender. The signatures are created using public key cryptography.
A SIFY digital signature certificate is your best choice for e-filing and e-tendering in India. SIFY, a licensed certifying authority, issues class 2 digital signature certificate and class 3 digital signature certificates for secure online transactions.
Security is extremely crucial in online tenders. The following security features ensure that the documents and confidential information being shared online remains secure.
SSL certificate: A 128-bit secure sockets layer certificate is used to secure communication between the user’s browser and the server on which the website is hosted. With a valid certificate, all the data shared remains secure and cannot be accessed by a third party.
Log of all activities: The portal has been developed with features that keep a log of the user’s activities on the portal. Transactions and changes in configuration are tracked and a log report is available. This can be accessed by the concerned officials. This log is available at the database level as well as the application level.
Secure administrator access: The portal requires a two-level password verification process even for the administrator to access the admin module. One password is provided by the administrator and the second password is allotted by the designated member within the buying organisation. This step ensures that even the administrator cannot misuse his/her privileges. The identity of the administrator is authenticated using biometrics.
Process validation: This step ensures that even the department officials cannot view the commercial bid of a supplier till the technical evaluation of the online tenders is complete. The bids by all vendors can be viewed only after the date and time specified for the opening of the commercial bid.
Data encryption: The solution ensures 128-bit encryption. All the data received in the form of price bids for an online tender are encrypted at the database level. The login credentials of the users as well as the suppliers are also encrypted and stored in the database.