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Anti-Corruption: Open Contracting

ARCHIVAL – For Historical Reference

 

 

Background:

On 20 September 2018, our team held a public consultation on how to represent the theme of open contracting in OGP’s upcoming flagship report. (For more background and justification, see here.) Our aim was to present our preliminary research and to hear what we were missing, who we should talk to, and how we should frame the topic. We also received written comments via e-mail. The goal of this page is to summarize what we heard and to establish another channel for feedback.

What we heard from you:

What would be useful from us

  • Guidance and case studies on the use of open contracting data
  • Guidance on the initial steps for measuring impact
  • Making the business case for modernization of existing transparent public procurement systems, e.g. by adopting the OCDS or by improving user interfaces
  • Looking into the implementation of open contracting systems in specific sectors
  • Examples of link between participation and open contracting systems, how it links to impact, and how to scale existing examples such as Budeshi or DoZorro

Data

  • Important data questions beyond whether a national agency has open data at some stage of the procurement process include:
    • Which stages of the procurement process are being disclosed?
    • Which agencies are disclosing information and what are the restrictions?
    • Are procurement documents being disclosed?
    • Are contract documents proactively disclosed? Legal framework for reactive disclosure?
  • Work on OCDS may have answers to first two questions above
    • Limitation is that some countries have reasonable disclosure without OCDS
  • World Bank Benchmarking Public Procurement indicators could be useful
  • Look into OECD Open Gov Data report and Mihaly Fazekas red-flag analysis

Frontier issues to consider

  • Identifying usage, benefits, and impacts of open contracting
  • Disclosure of contracting documents, addressing “commercial confidentiality” arguments and redactions
  • Lack of transparent frameworks for selling public assets, such as ProZorro Sale
  • Highlighting projects working on resource contracts / deals (beyond procurement)

How we plan to address / incorporate your feedback:

  • An important focus of our work on this theme will be related to better understanding the use of open contracting data for impact. In particular, we expect to present examples of data usage, and hope to document which indicators are most useful for assessing the impact of contracting data releases. We also hope to focus on public participation in contracting to better understand how countries can replicate more accountable systems.
  • In terms of data, we will continue to reach out to stakeholders to identify existing datasets, their coverage, and how they could be adapted for our purposes.

What’s next?

  • We will update our approach and framing, which is currently in the “Thematic Strawmen” document linked above.
  • We welcome your feedback below (in the public comment box) or to our email at research@opengovpartnership.org. We are going to close comments on Wednesday, 31 October. If you would like to talk to us again, please reach out to the email address above to schedule a phone call.
  • For areas of work that require further research, we will commission research by partners to help inform the final report.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultations during the live sessions and in writing!