A Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus: Public Procurement
Guía de gobierno abierto y coronavirus: Adquisiciones públicas
Guide pour un gouvernement ouvert et le Coronavirus: Marchés publics
Procurement has become a life or death issue in many countries’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic. In the short-term, emergency procurement is a critical component of any government’s response measures.
Shortages of personal protective equipment for frontline workers, ventilators, and testing capacity have hampered responses. Many governments have enacted emergency procurement procedures in an attempt to speed up purchases. Open government principles can help make this process more effective and get equipment to those that need it, while guarding against corruption and waste.
These principles also help level the playing field for suppliers by enabling them to access procurement systems in a faster, streamlined manner and provide goods and services with greater efficiency. As countries move from immediate response to long term recovery and reform, it is critical to ensure that procurement systems remain fit for purpose and that production capacity and supply chains are reinforced. Going forward, it is key to support small businesses and suppliers as well as invest in better Transparency in the procurement process can help combat corruption and waste that plagues a significant portion of public procurement budgets globally. Technical specifications: Commitments that aim t... More data and healthcare policies and infrastructure to withstand future shocks.
Public Procurement is one of government’s greatest corruption risks because of the size of spending. Health procurement is an especially high risk area because it is complex and opaque. Emergency health procurement is even higher risk as it may involve sole sourcing, accelerated timeframes, prepayment and a general scramble to secure supplies that may minimise due diligence and supplier scrutiny.
Seventy-six OGP members have made 227 commitments related to A transparent procurement process, known as open contracting, increases competition, improves public service delivery, and ensures governments better value for their money. Technical specifications: C... More since 2011, meaning there is a wealth of relevant experience and learning within the partnership to draw on.
Open response measures place According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More, accountability, and participation at the center of immediate government efforts to curb contagion and provide emergency assistance.
Our friends at the Open Contracting Partnership make the following recommendations:
Open Recovery and Reform:
Open recovery measures place transparency, accountability, and participation at the center of medium-term government efforts to rebuild in the wake of COVID-19. Similarly, open reform initiatives ensure that the public is at the heart of government in the post-pandemic world.
According to findings from the 2019 OGP Global Report, most OGP members do not have fully open and competitive bidding processes in health. Health procurement is seen as less transparent than infrastructure procurement in most countries. Countries should consider the following recommendations for medium and long-term reform. Where possible these new measures and reforms should be time-sensitive, build upon existing legislations and tools, to minimize slowing down the response to the health crisis.
The following examples are recent initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are drawn from our crowdsourced list as well as partner materials.
The following examples are commitments previously made by OGP members that demonstrate elements of the recommendations made above.
Partners who can provide further support and information
Our thanks to partners at Open Contracting Partnership, The B Team, and Transparency International for sharing recommendations and reviewing this module.