Publishing state procurement data to citizens (FI0027)
Publishing openly in the net the information regarding what the state buys, with what money and from where. The state procurement data will be published in spring 2017 as open data. At the same time an open service will be created with access to everyone and where citizens and businesses can follow almost in real time the use of public money in state procurement. The contents of the service are the public data of procurement where it can be seen what state organisations are procurement and from where.
IRM Midterm Status Summary
5. Publishing state procurement data to citizens
Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:
“Publishing openly in the net the information regarding what the state buys, with what money and from where. The state procurement data will be published in spring 2017 as open data. At the same time, an open service will be created with access to everyone and where citizens and businesses can follow almost in real time the use of public money in state procurement. The contents of the service are the public data of procurement where it can be seen what state organisations are procurement and from where.”[Note : Finland National Action Plan 2017-2019 (in English), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Finland_NAP_2017-2019_EN.pdf.]
Start Date: Not identified
End Date: Not identified
Context and Objectives
Although Finland ranks among the top 10 countries for the Open-Useful-Reusable Government Data Index,[Note : Open-Useful-Reusable Government Data Index (OURdata), 2017,
https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/government-at-a-glance-2017/open-useful-reusable-government-data-index-ourdata-2017_gov_glance-2017-graph139-en.] open data on state procurement were not available before spring 2017. The information published under this commitment has been available to everyone in accordance with the Act on the Openness of Government Activities,[Note : Act on the Openness of Government Activities 21.5.1999/621, https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/1999/19990621.] but access to these data required a separate request for information from an individual organisation. This publication of state procurement information as open data is thus an innovative endeavour in Finland and internationally.[Note : “Julkiset, avoimet hankinnat,” Juho Pursimo, Analyst for the Finnish government’s central purchasing body Hansel Ltd, https://www.hansel.fi/blogi/2017/11/29/julkiset-avoimet-hankinnat/.]
This commitment aims to make state procurement data truly open and transparent, as well as visualize it in a clear and understandable manner, and to make it easier for individuals and organisations to assess whether the use of public funds is efficient and fit for purpose.[Note : Satu Grekin, Head of Business and Competition Affairs, The Federation of Finnish Enterprises. Email interview 11.02.2019.] The government discloses its procurement data on the level of individual invoices, and the data do not cover, for example, contracts.
Currently, the data cover nearly all government accounting units, except for the Ministry of Defence, whose procurement data are not public.[Note : Finnish Central Government Procurement Spend, open data, https://www.avoindata.fi/data/en_GB/dataset/valtion-virastojen-ostolaskut.] The procurement data are available in non-proprietary open data format, granting it 3/5 stars on the 5-star deployment scheme for Open Data.[Note : 5 Star Open Data, https://5stardata.info/en/.] The database is aimed to be updated weekly, although it seems to be done manually, and thus this target is not always met.[Note : The log of activities shows that the dataset was updated six months ago, then again two months ago, https://www.avoindata.fi/data/en_GB/dataset/activity/valtion-virastojen-ostolaskut.] Additionally, procurement data are visualized on the website Explore State Spending (tutkihankintoja.fi).[Note : Explore State Spending, https://tutkihankintoja.fi/?lang=en.] This website provides accessible information on buyers and suppliers across multiple procurement categories.
Publication of government procurement data as open data was already included under Commitment 2 in Finland’s previous action plan, which was completed in September 2017. The novel part of the present commitment is the addition of the open access service (tutkihankintoja.fi). The government could have increased the ambition of the commitment by independently evaluating the usability and impact of this service and by setting targets to improve its performance. The commitment is concrete and measurable, but because it was partially included in the previous action plan and already implemented, its potential impact is coded as minor.
The IRM researcher recommends collecting feedback from stakeholders and end-users to ensure the continuing development of the visualisation along with the readability and usability of the open data. According to a CSO representative from the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the current situation is satisfactory.[Note : Satu Grekin, Head of Business and Competition Affairs, The Federation of Finnish Enterprises. Email interview 11.02.2019.] Additionally, the commitment could be expanded to cover the procurement data of municipalities, regions, and incorporated public services.[Note : Tommi Niinimäki, Chairperson of Transparency International Finland, consultation 3.3.2017, p.54, https://avoinhallinto.fi/assets/files/2017/06/Lausuntoyhteenveto-III-toimintaohjelma.pdf.
Supporting everyone’s possibility to participate.
FI0023, 2017, E-Government
Clear government reforms and services
FI0024, 2017, Fiscal Transparency
Access to information on incorporated public services
FI0025, 2017, Fiscal Transparency
Access to information knowledge in the public administration
FI0026, 2017, Capacity Building
Publishing state procurement data to citizens
FI0027, 2017, E-Government
Regional Reform information
FI0028, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport
Training regional administration in open government principles
FI0029, 2017, Capacity Building
FI0019, 2015, E-Government
Government as an enabler
FI0020, 2015, E-Government
FI0021, 2015, E-Government
Engage Children, Youth, Elderly
FI0022, 2015, Public Participation
Enhancing the openness of preparatory processes
FI0001, 2013, E-Government
Emphasizing dialogue skills in the job descriptions of civil servants
FI0002, 2013, Capacity Building
Strengthening proactive publishing and communication
FI0003, 2013, Capacity Building
Promoting participatory budgeting
FI0004, 2013, Participation in Budget Processes
Increasing openness and customer orientation in ICT and e-services development
FI0005, 2013, E-Government
Increasing the number of open and online meetings
FI0006, 2013, E-Government
Standard language titles and resumes will be drafted of the Government proposals.
FI0007, 2013, Capacity Building
Visualization of decisions
FI0008, 2013, E-Government
Training will be organised for civil servants in use of clear language and plain language in- cluding committing to use of terms already known.
FI0009, 2013, Capacity Building
The comprehensibility of the texts produced by public administration will be tested to- gether with citizens and service users.
FI0010, 2013, Capacity Building
Standardizing and clarifying the terms and concepts used in public administration and ser- vice production.
FI0011, 2013, Capacity Building
The comprehensibility of customer letters and decisions will be enhanced, especially when using standard texts.
FI0012, 2013, Capacity Building
Opening and publishing new data and changing existing open data into a machine- readable form.
FI0013, 2013, Open Data
Clear terms for use of for open data and knowledge
FI0014, 2013, Open Data
Strengthening skills needed to understand combining privacy and open data and strength- ening the citizen’s right to his/her own personal information “the right to be anonymous”
FI0015, 2013, Capacity Building
Tearing down barriers of action of the civil society
FI0016, 2013, Capacity Building
The proactive presence and accessibility of civil servants
FI0017, 2013, Capacity Building
Providing tools and training to organizations
FI0018, 2013, Capacity Building