SPRITE-S2 (Support and guidance to the procurement of information and telecommunication systems and services) is an initiative of DG III (Industry) of the European Commission aimed at providing public and private sector purchasers with a common framework for the procurement of information and communication technology (ICT) equipment. The availability and application of relevant, up-to-date standards is vital if users are to benefit from flexible ICT solutions, which are supplier independent and capable of being upgraded in the future. Clear and unambiguous specification of functional requirements will help simplify and rationalize existing procurement processes, to the benefit of both procurers and suppliers. The SPRITE-S2 initiative is aimed at the development, validation and/or demonstration of existing and new instruments of support and guidance. Particular attention is expected to be given to cross-fertilisation of experiences between different countries and sectors, and to the promotion of best practice, both within the European Union and in third countries. Particular attention will be given to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean which represent new markets for the European ICT supply industry. The first step will be the development of a 1997 Work Programme for SPRITE-S2, and the publication of a call for proposals in the area of "Support and Guidance to the Procurement of ICT Systems and Services". A working document which will form the basis of this call for proposals is currently available and comments are invited from all interested bodies.