Enhanced Open Procurement Contract Data (BOJ0004)
Issues to be addressed: Prone area to corruption, lack of competency of goods and services procurement providers and lack of public oversight throughout procurement activities. Primary objective: To develop an application that would allow procurement contract data to be opened to public in accordance to the Law No 14/ 2008; improve competency of goods and services procurement providers; and increase public participation in procurement activities. Commitment Description: We are committed to develop an application and appropriate business process that would allow a more transparent procurement system. Existing procurement activities are very prone to corruption; there is lack of transparency as to how and why certain goods and services being procured; whether or not things being procured are based on actual needs of the government and their work performance. Worth to note that direct appointment activities is the most prone activities to corruption. OGP Challenge: Strengthening transparency, participation and innovation Relevance: Stronger regulation to promote open procurement policies. The latter will provide more space for public to monitor, provide inputs, and oversee. Ambition: Innovation in open contract/ procurement policies helps to increase transparency and accountability of the overall procurement activities and thus also serves as corruption prevention efforts. Through this application we wish to increase public oversight and public participation throughout the cycle.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
4. Enhanced Open Procurement Contract Data
Objective: To develop an application what would allow procurement contract data to be opened to public in accordance to the Law No. 14/2008; improve competency of goods and services procurement provides; and increase public participation in procurement activities
Description: We are committed to develop an application and appropriate business process that would allow a more transparent procurement system. Existing procurement activities are very prone to corruption; there is lack of transparency as to how and why certain goods and services being procured; whether things being procured are based on actual needs of the government and their work performance. Worth to note that direct appointment activities are the most prone activities to corruption.
Ambition: Innovation in open contract/ procurement policies helps to increase transparency and accountability of the overall procurement activities and thus also serves as corruption prevention efforts. Through this application, we wish to increase public oversight and public participation throughout the cycle.
1. Issuance of declaration of Bojonegoro’s readiness to embark on open contract
2. Issuance of Regent Regulation on Open Contract
3. Availability of open data contract application prototype
4. Implementation of the open data contract application
Overall Objective & Relevance
The Government of Bojonegoro identified two key problems in existing procurement activities, which have been prone to corruption. First, there is a lack of transparency in the planning process and it is unclear whether certain procurable goods and services are purchases based on actual needs of the government and their work performance. Second, there is lack of public oversight throughout procurement activities.
This commitment aims to increase transparency in public procurement processes by issuing a regulation on open contracts and creating an open data application to publish information on procurement processes. This commitment is closely related to Commitment 3 (Improving Local Budget Transparency). The proposed regulation is meant to provide more space for the public to monitor, give inputs, and oversee the procurement processes. Additionally, the government, in collaboration with Bojonegoro Institute, sought to develop an application for the publication of the contract data. The application combines an appropriate business process with a more transparent procurement system.
If implemented as written, this commitment could improve access to information with the publication of government contracts through an application. However, although it calls for the inclusion of citizens in the procurement cycle, it is not clear how this application will integrate features to include the public in decision-making processes or allow them to provide input of any kind. It also does not explain whether the application would serve as a mechanism to call upon the government to justify its actions or respond to citizen concerns and criticisms, reason why it is not considered relevant to public accountability.
Specificity and Potential Impact
The commitment is considered of medium specificity. The four milestones are objectively verifiable, however, it is not clear how the researcher could measure to what degree the implementation of the activities could contribute to the overall objective. The action plan lacks detail on what the regulation will contain, how the open data application will run, how it will be used by government agencies, whether it will be used to publish information on the full contracting process and in what format, etc. It also does not explain what innovative features would allow public participation and oversight. Because of this lack in specificity, the commitment is considered to have a moderate potential impact. The application may guarantee openness for procurement service providers and allow citizens to monitor the procurement processes and their results, however, it is not clear to what degree. Additionally, the application could only be functional for a limited group people with good access to these technologies and the capacity to use them. It could prove to be impractical for those who have limited Internet access or technologically literacy.
The regency completed the first three milestones (4.1, 4.2, and 4.3). On 11 October 2016, there was a declaration of Open Document Contract, which was signed by 32 people, members of the local government, local council, police force, private sector and major local CSO representatives. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By7NDz0CM7jzY3VxR3hEMmhmX1E/view?usp=sharing Later, on 5 January 2017, the regent issued a Regent Regulation (No 1 of 2017) regarding open document contracting in Bojonegoro. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By7NDz0CM7jzZ2djaGVMSjVNSVE/view?usp=sharing
The purpose of this regulation is to provide standards and guidance to Bojonegoro’s government departments (referred to as working units or SKPD) regarding open contracting. It covers the full contracting process, from activity planning, budgeting, procurement of goods & services, reporting and providing public access to participate. Regulation abstract: https://peraturan.bpk.go.id/Home/Details/57177 All government contracts would be published under these criteria. As stated by the Regent Suyoto and recorded by Publish What You Pay Indonesia, goods and services procurement contracts consist of terms of reference, Self Estimated Prices (HPS), selection process, reasons for winners (minutes), business contracts, SKPD monitoring, community participation, payment process and asset recording. Specifically, the Regulation calls on government departments to include the reasons why they have chosen one contractor over another and allow public comments to be made online during the process. “Openness recipe in Bojonegoro Style”, Publish What You Pay Indonesia, https://pwyp-indonesia.org/id/247299/resep-keterbukaan-ala-bojonegoro/
Milestone 4.3 was eventually completed in December 2017 with the launch of a new application (bos.bojonegorokab.go.id) set to function for the 2018 fiscal year. Email communication with Alit Purnayoga, secretary of Bojonegoro’s OGP team (November 28, 2017). However, the IRM researcher found inconsistencies between government officials and CSOs’ explanations in regards to how this milestone was completed. Erdyn Sucahyono, from the Local Development Department of Bojonegoro, claimed that there was a prototype application, which was developed by the Office of Public Works (simpen.bojonegorokab.net). Erdyn Sucahyono (Local Development Department of Bojonegoro) in focus discussion with OGP team’s members (August 10, 2017). This application was limited to procurement processes of that particular office. However, Syaiful Huda from the Bojonegoro Institute argued that the Office of Public Work’s application was not part of this commitment. Instead, he claimed that his organization developed a more complex application with funding from international donors like HIVOS. The application was designed based on the Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS), which facilitates interoperability for multiusers. The new application is able to facilitate multiple work units within the local government during the different phases of the contracting cycle: planning, budgeting, implementation and evaluation. The other application only applied for the Office of Public Works and was not applicable for the other working units. The Regent of Bojonegoro, Suyoto, released the new application called the Bojonegoro Open System (bos.bojonegoro.go.id) created by the Bojonegoro Institute, in partnership with Hivos, in December 2017, announcing it would be ready for use during the 2018 fiscal year. Press Release 12 Desember 2017.
The completion of this milestone saw significant delays due to budgetary constraints. Although the regulation on open contract (4.2) was issued in January 2017, the application was not ready until December 2017, a year after it was supposed to be ready. Syaiful Huda from the Bojonegoro Institute stated that “We did not receive money from the local government to support the implementation of the commitment. We searched fund from our donors, from HIVOS, from Ford Foundation, and also from Exxon’s CSR”.
Thus, Milestone 4.4 could not be implemented by the end of 2017, since the new procurement cycle began with the opening of the new financial year on 2018, beyond the action plan implementation period. Therefore, this commitment was substantially completed by the end of the reporting cycle.
Early results: did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal
Civic participation: Marginal
Public Accountability: No change
Bojonegoro aimed to enforce a new regulation on open contracting and build a technology-based open procurement application for the 2018 fiscal year, with the aim of minimizing corruption during the public contracting process. The Regulation was announced and made public in time. Its content provides specific guidance to the Regency’s departments on the process of open contracting following the Open Contracting Data Standard. It replaces regent regulation number 33 from 2016, Openness of Contract Documents in Government Procurement / Services. In essence, the new regulation aims to include the public in all stages of the procurement process: planning, implementation and evaluation; while the 2016 regulation only included the acquisition or bidding process. The new regulation defines the types of contracts and includes ‘political contracts’ or commitments from the Regency to citizens of Bojonegoro (regional government strategic plans, the local government work plans (RKPD), KUA-PPAS, regional regulation draft on APBD and regent regulations concerning translation of the APBD and its reporting); professional contracts with Bojonegoro’s regional departments or sub-units (SKPD) which includes SKPD strategic plans, SKPD work plans, RKA-SKPD and DPA-SKPD; and business contracts between SKPD with businesses (provider / entrepreneur / business entity) in the process of procurement of goods & services. Bojonegoro News, September 2017: https://kumparan.com/beritabojonegoro/tim-provinsi-jawa-timur-lakukan-evaluasi-sakip-di-pemkab-bojonegoro
The application was not finished until the end of 2017, and therefore, not in use during implementing period. Thus, there is insufficient data to state that the government has significantly improved the quality of information disclosed to the public. These limitations were mainly due to the lack of financial resources for enforcing the open contract regulation. Syaiful Huda from Bojonegoro Institute and Joko Hadi Purnomo from IDFOS acknowledge that the Regent has prioritized the issuance of the new, innovative local regulation, crucial to put the commitment in motion. Separate focus group discussions with IDFOS (October 26, 2017) and Bojonegoro Institute (October 26, 2017). However, Joko noted that for such program to get funding it would depend on the approval from the local council. Focus group discussions with IDFOS (October 26, 2017). “The Regent is good person, and he has a good political will. But budget politics needs more negotiation with other parties,” said Joko Hadi.
However, the government and leading organizations carried out great efforts to implement the commitment which marginally increased participation in government processes. To fulfil milestone 4.1, regarding the issuance of the open contract declaration, the government led a mobilization effort to include the representation of various government institutions, the private sector and CSOs. This was an important step that defined the way the rest of the commitment was carried out. Despite the delays, there was strong collaboration between the government and the Bojonegoro Institute (BI) to develop the application. BI partnered with Hivos and led the process and to ensure that the new system followed the Open Contracting Data Standard. Additionally, although outside the scope of the milestones, the Bojonegoro Institute has been actively training stakeholders on the new Bojonegoro Open System, which speaks to the positive effect the collaboration between government and civil society has had on open government.
The success of this commitment’s implementation would be a strong structure for other open government commitments in the regency. To successfully develop and launch the integrated and user-friendly application that fulfills the need of every stakeholder it requires better planning and increasing financial support. Another obstacle the Regency will face is how to change the current civil servant culture to adapt to changing technology. Extended and regular workshops are needed to build people’s capacity to adapt to different technologies as well as to embed the practice of systematically publishing information. The government should be more consistent in financing workshops and trainings for its citizens in order to increase the capacity of using this technology. Without commitment in human development, new technology could increase the cultural gap between the government and its citizens.