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State of the Evidence: Open Contracting

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This paper is part of the background research for the Skeptic’s Guide to Open Government (2022 Edition). Andy McDevitt developed it with guidance from the Open Contracting Partnership.

According to recent estimates from the Open Contracting Partnership and Spend Network, governments globally spend USD 13 trillion a year on public contracts for goods, services, and works. The OECD estimates that on average, public procurement constitutes around 12%–20% of a country’s GDP. Yet even though it is one of a government’s activities most vulnerable to waste, fraud, and corruption, less than 3% of procurement spending is published openly. 

This paper reviews the available empirical evidence on the effects of open contracting on a range of outcomes, including cost savings and efficiency, reducing corruption, improving service delivery, and increasing social inclusion.

Read the full paper below.

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