Written By Luis Velez Pretelt, 9 Dec 2014

Open Contracting is key to the fight against corruption. Today, in the International Anti-corruption Day, Open Contracting’s premise is that more open and transparent public contracting procedures are more likely to deter corruption and expose mismanagement of public resources.

Contributing to tackle these issues, Open Contracting promotes norms of increased disclosure and participation at all stages of public contracting.

Public contracting is one of the most crucial government functions to deliver public services and fulfill the rights and needs of citizens. When governments buy goods or services efficiently, public services are successfully delivered, and all society benefits. However, public contracting has traditionally been kept out of the public eye and shielded from scrutiny. Such opacity often fosters corruption and reduces the conditions for competitive public contracting processes.

The Open Contracting’s approach of greater disclosure and participation offers a unique and transformational vision on how to curb corruption in public contracting. However, corruption is a very complex governance challenge that can’t be resolved by a single actor working independently.

Ensuring that disclosure and participation in public contracting are as successful and effective as possible requires for a wide range of actors to be able to collaborate with each other to improve efficiency and end corruption in public contracting.

The disclosure of contract information enhances government’s transparency and assures data accessibility for non-state actors. This increased availability of contracting information leads to better competition opportunities for the private sector and to more citizen participation in monitoring contracts and advocating for improved legislative frameworks.

If they work together, governments, private sector, civil society, journalists and academia, can all play a significant role in reducing corruption in public contracting and improving development outcomes around the world.