May 8, 2017
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”.
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.
The UK implemented the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) 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.
In March 2019, the Government updated its guidance on open contracting data. More information is available here.
Why Open Contracting? (via Open Contracting Partnership)