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How to Open Contracting? A New Guide for Governments

4 Sep 2013

By Lindsey Marchessault

In preparation for the upcoming Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, the UK government has requested that countries bring a flagship commitment to London on October 31, 2013 as part of their national action plans. Established in 2011, member governments of the OGP are committed to transparency, participation, accountability, and innovation and each develop individualized action plans through a local consultative process

To assist with the process for countries interested in formulating commitments towards open contracting, the Open Contracting Partnership is pleased to announce the new ‘Public Contracting’ chapter of the Transparency & Accountability Initiative Guide to Opening Government.

The new draft chapter outlines illustrative commitments based on the Open Contracting Global Principles that could be made on a national, subnational, or sector level (such as land or extractive industries). The illustrative commitments can be summarized as follows:

  • Recognizing the right of the public to access public contracting information;
  • Developing a framework for public contracting that ensures a transparent and equitable process;
  • Routinely disclosing core classes of documents and data about public contracts
  • Creating mechanisms for participation in public contracting at all stages of the contracting cycle; and
  • Building capacity of stakeholders to disclose, understand, monitor and act upon contracting information.

The full draft chapter can be found here

The Opening Government Guide was first released in 2011 and the fully updated and expanded version will be launched in October 2013. The guide will be primarily an online resource and is intended to give users a way to navigate the diversity of open government topics and to find country examples, standards and detailed guidance. In addition to the chapter on Public Contracting, the guide will cover a range of topics including:

Cross-cutting topics Sector/focused topics
  • Right to information
  • Budgets
  • Citizen engagement
  • Asset disclosure & conflicts of interest
  • Whistle-blower protection
  • Open government data
  • Public contracting
  • Service delivery
  • Records management
  • Environment
  • Campaign finance
  • Military & intelligence
  • Aid
  • Lobbying
  • Police & criminal justice
  • Extractive industry
  • Forestry
  • Parliaments
  • Elections
  • Illicit flows
  • Electricity governance
  • Fisheries
  • Corporate transparency
  • Land
  • Consumer protection