Every year, public and private organisations spend massive amounts of money through contracting, on everything from stationery to major infrastructure projects to improve our hospitals, rail, road and electricity systems.
This taxpayer-funded spending for public benefit amounts to more than US$9.5 trillion each year, or around 15% of global GDP.
Governments and cities all around the world are committing to adopting the open contracting principles as part of their anti-corruption and open government strategies – starting with planning, then tenders, awarding and implementation of the contracts. These principles seek to uphold transparency, competitiveness, professionalism, and value for money in the process to give tax payers better idea of how their money is spent. This can bring major benefits in terms of governance quality, public trust, value for money, reductions in corruption and better development outcomes.
The evidence accumulating from countries starting to implement open contracting is promising, with a noticeable surge in tendering around the world, along with new business participants competing to win contracts through a fairer procurement process. The adoption of new technologies can help support this movement, especially when companies can’t afford to bid for every project that comes their way.
Presently, most of the processes for collecting and storing procurement data are manual, and although there’s no unified government-wide system for managing the procurement process, e-procurement systems and the use of open data standards at least takes us a step closer towards publishing open contracting data, and on business and civic engagements. Countries such as Chile, Mexico, Indonesia and South Korea have taken the necessary steps towards full disclosure through their own e-procurement platforms.
In Australia, publications of government business opportunities, annual procurement plans and contracts awarded can be found on AusTenders. United States contracts can be found on https://www.usa.gov/find-government-contracts and the UK’s on https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder
At Bidhive, we’re seeing this shift unfold every day. Here’s our top 3 most interesting cities where Bid Managers are showing interest in Bidhive.
The relevant legislation to open contracting in Belgium can be found in the Act of 17 June 2016. This Act states that open procedure must now be used by contracting authorities to fit in with the government values of transparency, quality and non-discrimination.
- The United States
The United States is working to implement the principles of the Open Contracting Data Standards. These standards enable disclosure of data and documents at all stages of contracting by defining a common data model. Many other countries are also implementing this model.
The Malaysian government values transparency, value for money and public accountability in its procurement processes. All bids received are processed fairly and equitably based on current rules, policies and procedures.
Already committed to open contracting are major governments such as the US, Canada, Russia, Australia, France, Spain and Italy. To see which other countries have signed up to the Open Contracting Partnership see https://www.open-contracting.org/why-open-contracting/worldwide/#/au