ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe
When comparing countries that are members of the Visegrád Group V4 (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), it is clear that as of 15 th January 2019, only the Czech Republic was prepared to meet the requirements of Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic invoicing public procurement. Other V4 countries at the time did not use electronic invoicing in the B2G relationship, which unfortunately can significantly reduce the transparency of all public contracts that were negotiated and subsequently implemented in these countries. Table 1 also shows that companies carrying out public contracts are obliged to issue electronic invoices only in 18 countries of the European Union or the EEA. These countries represent 58% of the research sample. In the 12 countries analyzed (a 39% share of the surveyed sample), there was no obligation to issue invoices to state institutions in electronic form. During the comparison of individual data listed in Table 1, it was found that although electronic invoicing is regulated by law in Latvia, Romania and Iceland, as of the specified date, there was no obligation in these countries to invoice completed public contracts exclusively in electronic form. Thus, electronic invoicing was only made available for companies. It was not legally required. Whether companies invoiced the sale of goods, products or services to state institutions electronically or in printed form was only a matter of decision or mutual agreement between the parties involved. It was also found that Finland requires businesses to use electronic invoices for supplies of goods, products or services to state institutions, although this country does not yet have legally regulated electronic invoicing in its body of law (as of the date of the research). It was also found that 80% of data transmission is provided and guaranteed exclusively by state institutions. It means specifically 16 countries that were part of the analyzed sample. In the case of Norway and Iceland (10% share of the analyzed sample of countries that actively use electronic invoicing in the B2G relationship), electronic data transfer is provided only through a private company. In these countries, public authorities have left all the administrative work related to electronic data transmission entirely to private entities. A certain compromise can be seen in Sweden or the Netherlands (10% share of the analyzed sample of countries that actively use electronic invoicing in relation to B2G), in which companies have the option of ensuring data transfer from a B2G perspective between a private or public platform.
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