Fair and effective public contracting provides everyone, everywhere with the public goods, works and services that they need.
The Open Contracting Partnership is a silo-busting collaboration across governments, businesses, civil society, and technologists to open up and transform government contracting worldwide. We bring open data and open government together to make sure public money is spent openly, fairly and effectively. We focus on public contracts as they are the single biggest item of spending by most governments. They are a government’s number one corruption risk and they are vital to make sure citizens get the services that they deserve.
Spun out of the World Bank in 2015, we are now an independent not-for-profit working in over 30 countries. We drive massively improved value for money, public integrity and service delivery by shifting public contracting from closed processes and masses of paperwork to digital services that are fair, efficient and ‘open-by-design’.
We support reformers from government, business and civil society to make reforms stick, help their innovations jump scale, and foster a culture of openness around the policies, teams, tools, data, and results needed to deliver impact.
We aren’t after a bit more transparency: we want a transformational shift in how business is done. We want to bridge fundamental gaps in data creation, disclosure and use.
A modern economy needs a smart, data-driven government contracting ecosystem. Our mission is to bring governments, businesses, citizens and open data together to build one.
How we work
We are a global team of about 15 people, with a small executive team based in Washington, DC. We are governed by an independent Advisory Board made up of a mix of renowned individuals from government, the private sector, civil society, the technology sector and development organizations. To keep our organization lean, we are fiscally sponsored by the Fund for the City of New York. Fiscal sponsorship is a common mechanism in the non-profit sector that enables organizations to launch new programs without needing to complete the full process of establishing a new legal entity. The Advisory Board appoints and oversees our Executive Director and signs off on our strategy and our budget. It also contributes to fundraising and champions open contracting publicly.
What we expect from government, we apply to ourselves too. We openly and honestly share what we are doing, from our contracts and our finances to our programmatic progress and challenges. We are also open to new ideas and collaborations. Our events and organizational processes should be inclusive and everyone should feel invited to participate. We recognize that this involves going the extra mile and taking a longer road to impact than just working with governments, but it also makes the results more robust and sustainable.
To reach our ambitious goals for transforming the world’s largest marketplace, we have to be bold. We push for transformational change (open-by-design) rather than being content with incremental or superficial improvements. We aren’t after just a bit more transparency, we want a fundamental improvement in how business is done. Public contracts seem boring so we have to make them interesting and uncover the vital issues at stake. We have to call out the myths and be steadfast without being insensitive or inflexible.
To overcome vested interests and to change the status quo, we have to be creative. We take chances on new approaches and new ideas. We explore new ways to solve problems and build new collaborations and alliances. We create space for testing, failure and adaptation. We run with our winners, fess up and learn from our mistakes, and report on what we learned on the way.
And we hope to do all this in a fun way. We celebrate our successes and those of our awesome partners.
We are passionate about our work and caring about the people making all of this happen.