European Commission. M 376. Standardisation mandate to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain. Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General. December 2005.
The European Mandate M 376 was issued with the primary goal of creating a set of functional accessibility requirements that could be applied in the public procurement of any type of ICT product or service. This Mandate was issued in 2005 but technical work only started in 2007, with its first phase, focused on field research performed by two expert teams: one under the supervision of ETSI and a second one under the joint supervision of CEN and CENELEC.
The results of that phase were two reports published in 2009. The first report, ETSI TR 102 612, collected information about existing ICT accessibility standards and other source for ICT accessibility requirements. The second report, published by CEN and CENELEC, collected information about different types of conformity assessment systems and schemes and their application in the context of public procurement of ICT in Europe.
These two reports were analysed by the European Commission and the three European Standards Organizations to refine the detailed goals of phase 2 of the Mandate. The technical work on phase 2 started in 2011, having as a goal the following six deliverables:
- A European Standard, EN 301 549 "Accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe", specifying the functional accessibility requirements applicable to ICT products and services.
- A Technical Report, TR 101 550 "Documents relevant to EN 301549", explaining the decision taken in the development process of the EN, and listing the standards and specifications used for the requirements and tests.
- A Technical Report, TR 101 551 "Guidelines on the use of accessibility award criteria for publicly procured ICT products and services in Europe", providing guidelines for contract award criteria in public procurement of accessible ICT.
- A Technical Report, "Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe", dealing with conformity assessment in the context of public procurement of accessible ICT.
- An Online Procurement Toolkit for accessible ICT products and services that will provide support for public procurers.
- Additional guidance and support material for the procurement of accessible ICT products and services, which will be provided as part of the online procurement toolkit.
The expected date for final approval of the deliverables, publication of the European Standard, and release of the online toolkit is February 2014. In the next section the latest draft of EN 301 549 will be presented.