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Request for Comments: Extending OCDS for Extractives Industries and Land

The Open Contracting Partnership has long had a special interest in the extractive industries and land sectors. Today, I am happy to share my commissioned report on the use cases and requirements of the sectors, which describes specific use cases, derives requirements from the use cases, and proposes additions and changes to OCDS to fulfill the requirements.

A summary of all proposed changes to OCDS is available. The changes primarily concern transactions (payments), locations, applications (bids), project identification and the initiation of contracting processes.

Many changes were driven by the widely adopted and implemented Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standard, a policy standard with an emphasis on payments by companies to governments; for example, OCDS’ updated transaction model could be used to report the period for which a payment is made, the payment type, in-kind payments, and the government account in which money is deposited, among other changes. These changes are nonetheless useful for a wide range of use cases outside EITI.

Other changes would allow reporting the candidates (bidders) in a contracting process along with details of their applications (bids), which was originally scheduled for OCDS 1.0. The broad range of use cases studied include general cases like the decision to extract and specific cases from organizations like the International Monetary Fund, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Revenue Development Foundation, ResourceContracts.org and OpenOil and from projects, laws and regulations in specific countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, Ghana, South Sudan and Uganda.

We are eager to receive your comments and edits to the use cases and requirements! Please feel free to draft a new use case.

The points for which comments would be especially appreciated are:

  1. How should a project be defined?
  2. How should a location’s geo coordinates be encoded?
  3. How frequently are identifiers available for government receipts of company payments?
  4. Several use cases require the estimated production of a resource. Should this be defined as total production over the contract period or as an average annual production rate?
  5. Licenses (like exploration licenses) can be renewed. Should “renewed” be a distinct status for a license, or should its status simply be “active” from the current code list?

The use cases and requirements proposes possible answers; please weigh in with your recommended answer!

Your feedback is also welcome on building the code lists for:

We look forward to making these changes part of OCDS after consultation with stakeholders.