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Mexico’s INAI launches new open-source tool to upload and visualize open contracting data

new open contracting tool run by Mexico’s transparency and data protection regulator, INAI, allows open contracting data from the entire procurement cycle to be uploaded and visualized.

The Contrataciones Abiertas tool has two main components: the capture system, which allows publishers to record data and documents at all stages of the contracting process using simple forms; and the public view or dashboard, which visualizes the data through interactive graphics. The tool also allows anyone to download all the data in JSON format and is in accordance with version 1.1 of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).

The capture system has five main forms, corresponding to the planning, tender, award, contract and execution stages of the contracting process, to capture each of the attributes contemplated in the OCDS. Users can also use secondary forms to input disaggregated data on budget, documents, items (including a map to select the location where goods or services will be delivered or works will be executed), contract modifications, milestones, and transactions, among others.

Another section captures information on the participants in the procurement process, such as unique identifiers, tax residence and contact details. The system also features a modification history and a validation panel that lists the data that is pending registration, as well as those that do not have a predefined structure or are not consistent. Within this panel, you can view a summary of the captured information and the documents that must be loaded according to the type of procedure.

In the administrator module, you can configure the various metadata that the OCDS requires, as well as the information related to the users of the system. The administrator module can also perform a massive load of data that feeds some code lists that are used in the capture forms, for example, the different items that can be contracted according to the classifier that is considered pertinent.

Finally, the capture system has a publication control panel that allows administrators to validate any contracting procedure before publishing it to the dashboard module. In this way, the procedures are not published until their status is correct. The dashboard also shows the versions of the data published, the name of the publisher, and the date of the last modification.

Process validation module

Meanwhile, the dashboard displays data such as the total amount contracted or the procedures published. Below is one of the visualizations showing the distribution of the amounts according to the destination and type of contracting procedure used.

Dashboard: amounts and type of procedure

The dashboard also includes a graph of which procedures are at which stage of the contracting cycle, and another that shows the number of public contracting processes over time. It has an interactive bubble graphic (bubble treemap) that allows users to explore the processes by grouping and colors, according to the chosen filters. Finally, it has a list of all the procedures, allowing the user to access the details of each one and download the information related to them in JSON and PDF format.

Visualization of contracts over time

The tool uses free and open-source software, which is available on Github for any interested organization to replicate. The software can also be adapted to the various extensions that are developed according to the OCDS structure. Although it is a 100% functional instrument, its development is iterative, so any proposed improvement can be integrated in future updates.

If you are interested in adopting this tool, you can contact the INAI team through the following email: