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Finland

Publishing State Procurement Data to Citizens (FI0027)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: NA

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Fiscal Transparency, Open Contracting and Procurement, Open Data, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

IRM Review

IRM Report: Finland Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

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/documents/finland-national-action-plan-2017-2019-all-languages/.]

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.

Next steps

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.

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Commitments

  1. Improving understandability and inlcusion of government information

    FI0030, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Open Government Strategy

    FI0031, 2019, Capacity Building

  3. Register of government deicsion-making

    FI0032, 2019, Conflicts of Interest

  4. Open data and AI policy

    FI0033, 2019, E-Government

  5. Supporting Everyone’s Possibility to Participate.

    FI0023, 2017, E-Government

  6. Clear Government Reforms and Services

    FI0024, 2017, Fiscal Transparency

  7. Access to Information on Incorporated Public Services

    FI0025, 2017, Fiscal Transparency

  8. Access to Information Knowledge in the Public Administration

    FI0026, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Publishing State Procurement Data to Citizens

    FI0027, 2017, E-Government

  10. Regional Reform Information

    FI0028, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  11. Training Regional Administration in Open Government Principles

    FI0029, 2017, Capacity Building

  12. Clear Administration

    FI0019, 2015, E-Government

  13. Government as an Enabler

    FI0020, 2015, E-Government

  14. Open Procedures

    FI0021, 2015, E-Government

  15. Engage Children, Youth, Elderly

    FI0022, 2015, Public Participation

  16. Enhancing the Openness of Preparatory Processes

    FI0001, 2013, E-Government

  17. Emphasizing Dialogue Skills in the Job Descriptions of Civil Servants

    FI0002, 2013, Capacity Building

  18. Strengthening Proactive Publishing and Communication

    FI0003, 2013, Capacity Building

  19. Promoting Participatory Budgeting

    FI0004, 2013, Participation in Budget Processes

  20. Increasing Openness and Customer Orientation in ICT and e-Services Development

    FI0005, 2013, E-Government

  21. Increasing the Number of Open and Online Meetings

    FI0006, 2013, E-Government

  22. Standard Language Titles and Resumes Will Be Drafted of the Government Proposals.

    FI0007, 2013, Capacity Building

  23. Visualization of Decisions

    FI0008, 2013, E-Government

  24. 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

  25. The Comprehensibility of the Texts Produced by Public Administration Will Be Tested To- Gether with Citizens and Service Users.

    FI0010, 2013, Capacity Building

  26. Standardizing and Clarifying the Terms and Concepts Used in Public Administration and Ser- Vice Production.

    FI0011, 2013, Capacity Building

  27. The Comprehensibility of Customer Letters and Decisions Will Be Enhanced, Especially When Using Standard Texts.

    FI0012, 2013, Capacity Building

  28. Opening and Publishing New Data and Changing Existing Open Data Into a Machine- Readable Form.

    FI0013, 2013, Open Data

  29. Clear Terms for Use of for Open Data and Knowledge

    FI0014, 2013, Open Data

  30. 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

  31. Tearing Down Barriers of Action of the Civil Society

    FI0016, 2013, Capacity Building

  32. The Proactive Presence and Accessibility of Civil Servants

    FI0017, 2013, Capacity Building

  33. Providing Tools and Training to Organizations

    FI0018, 2013, Capacity Building