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Open Contracting Data Standard

Crown Commercial Service

Estimated Completion, October 2016

The UK Government committed to implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) by October 2016. The OCDS enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. It is a core product of the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP). The UK Government implemented the OCDS in December 2016.

implementing the open contracting data standard

THE PROBLEM

When public contracts are won by companies with hidden owners or with links to anonymous companies, public money can be wasted and services weakened. The individuals behind these secret companies have been found to  overcharge countries for basic supplies for military troops, siphon off huge chunks of public land and forests  and steal the equivalent of a national education budget – all for personal profit.

Around US$9.5trillion of public money is spent by governments through public procurement, yet corruption drains between 20 and 25 per cent of public procurement budgets.

The Open Contracting Data Standard was created by the Open Contracting Partnership as “a global, non-proprietary data standard structured to reflect the complete contracting cycle”.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE ANTI-CORRUPTION SUMMIT?

Open Contracting and public procurement were two of the most committed to issues at the Summit.  The Summit communique saw governments promise to:

ensure public contracts are awarded and managed openly, accountably and fairly, consistent with applicable law – making public procurement open by default – so that citizens and business can have a clear public record of how public money is spent.”

At the Anti-Corruption Summit the UK pledged to implement the Open Contracting Data Standard by October 2016, as did 13 other governments.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE?

The UK implemented the Open Contracting Data Standard in November 2016. In doing so, it became the first G7 country to commit to the Open Contracting Data Standard for contracts administered by the Crown Commercial Service. The whole process of awarding public sector contracts is now visible to the public for the first time.

Available to the public are the Crown Commercial Service dashboard and open contract statistics.

Read more about why Open Contracting is important here

Why Open Contracting? (via Open Contracting Partnership)