The European Commission has published the "EPHOS: European Procurement Handbook for Open Systems". EPHOS is an EU programme sponsored by the Commission at the request of the Member States. EPHOS provides essential guidance for public procurers and planners in national, European and international administrations on how to specify requirements for information and communications technologies which are capable of interconnection and interworking, i.e. open systems technologies. The guidance starts from the procurer's business requirements, gives precise advice, outlines problems and allows the procurer to judge the merit of assurances of openness given by suppliers. The handbook contains guidance on the following topics: - Directory services; - Message handling services; - Open systems initiative management; - Document formats; - Local area networks; - Virtual terminal; - File transfer, access and management; - Electronic data interchange; - Character sets; - Cabling. The handbook is available in English either in CD-ROM format or as a paper publication.