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There are many different ways to engage with open contracting. This page provides an overview on the different entry points based on your interests and capacities.

Making data and documents from all phases of the public contracting process available by implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) can be useful for different actors in society to achieve different goals. These goals can be summarised as:

  • Achieving value for money for government
  • Strengthening the transparency, accountability and integrity of public contracting
  • Enabling the private sector to fairly compete for public contracts
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of public service delivery

Depending on your use case, you might be more interested in specific fields and features of the data are important to you. Learn more about use cases and the guide to defining the use case  developed by Open Contracting Partnership.

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Infomediaries in civil society and media can analyse, contextualise and translate data and documents on public contracting into actionable information.

If you want to investigate how governments spend tax money, you can use data and documents on public procurement for analysis and investigations. By packaging and contextualising complex data, you can help citizens and wider segments of society to take action, thus holding the government and private sector to account.

Possible steps infomediaries can take to engage include:

  1. Gather information and data on public spending and procurement. This can take different forms, including accessing and scraping official websites, filing Access to Information Requests and other investigative methods.
  2. Analyse the collected data and documents and translate it into actionable information for evidence-based advocacy; see also how to use visualisations for advocacy.
  3. Use Red-Flag analysis to indicate potentially fraudulent cases;
  4. Follow the Money and investigate and report cases of mismanagement, fraud and corruption;
  5. Publicly call on and hold governments and businesses to account, alongside citizens and oversight authorities.

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Citizens can engage in consultations in the planning phase of public contracts and monitor the implementation and delivery of public goods and services.

If you are a concerned citizen wondering if the new road that connects your village with the market in the next town is built according to plan or why there are so few textbooks available in your children’s school, you need reliable information on what was planned in the first place. Accessing this information allows you to  make informed decisions and share your voice with other citizens, in public forums, or with local organisations that can represent you and help raise up your voice and concerns to government and business policymakers.

Possible steps citizens (and community groups) can take to engage include:

  1. Inform yourself about what is planned in your community, in order to make informed decisions and engage in decision making on issues that concern you;
  2. Engage in the consultations during the planning phase of public procurement and spending processes to make your needs and concerns heard;
  3. Monitor the implementation projects that  deliver public goods and services, as well as ensure that  any issues identified via citizen monitoring are documented for public scrutiny and advocacy;
  4. Provide feedback to oversight authorities or other feedback channels established by government or civil society;
  5. Find out more about the World Bank’s suggestions on procurement monitoring here.

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Governments can reform public procurement processes at the national and subnational levels for smarter and fairer government deal making.

If you are a government reformer, or a civil servant you want to ensure value for money and that public goods and services are delivered efficiently and on time.

Possible steps government can take to engage include:

  1. Understand the current legal framework, organisational setup and public contracting process in your country (or city) by using the Methodology for Open Contracting Scoping Studies
  2. Sensitize the concepts and benefits of Open Contracting Global Principles by sharing and discussing the  and the Open Contracting Guide;
  3. Map available contracting data and documents against the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) using the mapping template and guidelines;
  4. Publish public contracting data and documents from all phases of the public procurement cycle by following the OCDS implementation guide;
  5. Aggregate public contracting data and documents from all phases of the contracting cycle into one single platform that allows for it to be monitored and analysed for smarter and more efficient delivery of public goods and services. Take a look at the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Corruption Risk Dashboards of Development Gateway.
  6. Initiate reforms to make the entire public contracting cycle more efficient, transparent and accountable by:

  • Engaging all stakeholders and understanding their needs;
  • Realising Open Contracting is a change process that requires changing mindsets and long term commitment from all stakeholders;
  • Reforming legislation to foster a conducive legal environment; see the Policy Recommendations for Public Procurement Reforms and the Implementation Guide for Open Public Procurement Data
  • Changing organisational procedures to make public procurement more efficient and improve the collection, management and sharing of public contracting data and documents;
  • Investing in capacity development for civil servants for smarter government deal making. 

 → Want to learn more how to engage? Please contact us today!

Josh Estey

Oversight authorities can listen to feedback and act upon it to prevent, detect, and investigate cases of irregularities, as well as prosecute cases of corruption.

If you are working at an oversight authority like the parliament, the Ombudsman Office or the Auditor General Office, you want to effectively and efficiently do your work, support legislative reforms, investigate cases of illicit behaviour and ensure high standards of accountability and integrity.

Possible steps oversight authorities can take to engage include:

  1. Create dedicated feedback channels for citizens and communities;
  2. Listen and act upon feedback received;
  3. Use public contracting data and documents to detect irregularities and possible misuse;
  4. Investigate and prosecute cases of misuse and corruption;
  5. Inform policy makers on how the public contracting process can be improved to prevent corruption;
  6. Inform the public about cases of fraud and corruption and promote integrity in public institutions and the private sector;
  7. Educate public officials on best practices in public procurement to prevent fraud and corruption.

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Private Sector companies can promote integrity and fair competition together with fellow business leaders and government policymakers involved in public contracting processes.

If you are a leader in the private sector, you want to be able to effectively bid and win contract tenders.

Possible steps the private sector can take to engage include:

  1. Understand why Open Contracting is good for business by reading the Opening Up Public Procurement guide from the B-Team;
  2. Promote integrity in the private sector via Transparency International’s Integrity Pacts;
  3. Ask your buisness association to demand fair competition in public contracting;
  4. Assess and analyse public contracting data and documents and use business intelligence to engage more effectively in bidding and winning tenders. Get inspired by state of the art  business intelligence (BI) Analytics module from ProZorro;
  5. Learn How Companies Can Build Credibility and encourage other business leaders to publicly promote open contracting for a good business and investment climate.

→ Want to learn more how to engage? Please contact us today!