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Release of data standard

We’re delighted today to be releasing a full 1.0 Release Candidate of the Open Contracting Data Standard.

This contains developments made over the last three months based on feedback from the beta, and provides a ready-for-use standard, with detailed guidance and documentation.

Amongst the updates:
  • We’ve improved the structure of the schema, elaborating on budget elements in planning, and transactions in implementation, and making clearer in the documentation the links between tenders, awards and contracts.
  • We’ve made naming of fields much more consistent, and have updated the documentation of fields.
  • We’ve incorporated a number of additional fields, and updated the definition of existing fields, in response to demand side feedback.
  • We’ve published code lists for all the restricted value fields, as well as details on which code lists can be extended.
  • We’ve introduced an extensions mechanism, for adding new fields and structures by writing a simple JSON patch against the schema, supporting communities to carry out secondary standardisation of particular elements.
  • In response to publisher feedback on the importance of flat serializations we’ve proposed a model for representing the data in CSV, Excel and Data Packages, and have commissioned a tool that creates a flat data template from the schema, as well as converts from CSV/Excel -> JSON
  • In response to feedback from our field mission in Mexico we’ve introduced a 5-star schema for assessing the technical quality of publication, and a basic, intermediate, advanced rating of fields that publishers might include.

Due to the pressure on the final development sprint (100 or so issues to tackle) we weren’t able to maintain a full changelog from 0.3 -> 1.0RC, but if you have been implementing against 0.3 and want to discuss changes, just let me know. From here on, all changes to the standard should be accompanied by a change log, and, in the near future, the Open Contracting Partnership will be consulting on and agreeing governance and change management processes for the standard in future.

We’ve also updated the resources page on this site with details of some of the tools available to help creation and use of open contracting data.

It’s now that the real work begins, creating tools and further resources to help publishers provide data, and different groups of users to access and mobilise contracting data as a resource to create change.

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