Open up public contracting
to fight corruption

Public procurement is a government’s number one corruption risk, with nearly two-thirds of cases prosecuted under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention involving bribes paid to influence the outcome of procurement decisions.

Public procurement is where the money, power and the discretion in government are concentrated. With 1 in every 3 dollars spent by governments worldwide, more than US $13 trillion, the sums spent in public money are enormous. The procurement process is too often opaque, complex, and paper-based.

Public contracts touch every part of our lives from roadworks to school meals to critical medicines, resulting in devastating impact on people when things go wrong: when schools are build to substandard specifications in an earthquake zone, disasters are bound to happen.

Open contracting can be used to reimagine procurement to prevent and detect corruption and increase integrity.

Coupled with civic monitoring, private sector engagement, government audit and public complaints mechanisms and whistleblower protections, the risk of misappropriated or wasted funds can be reduced, saving millions if not billions, through more robust prevention, investigation and prosecution through digital transformation.

We’ve used open data on public contracts to map out more than 72 ‘red flags’ – or corruption risk indicators – across the whole procurement cycle that help warn governments of potential for fraud, abuse, and waste, and can be linked to critical data on beneficial ownership, conflicts of interest, PEPs and more. Our new tool Cardinal makes it easier to calculate common risk indicators of corruption and collusion in procurement.

The evidence shows that this open contracting approach works.

If we follow the money in public procurement, we can make sure public money arrives where it should – to benefit citizens – and the funds intended for high-risk sectors such as emergency response, disaster and conflict recovery, infrastructure, health, recovered assets, and climate adaptation and mitigation are rightfully invested in sustainable development for people and planet.

Our service offer

1. Support for coalitions of change

OCP works with a wide range of multilateral institutions to advance good governance and integrity in public procurement. We facilitate coalitions of change that can strengthen global norms, like the new UN resolution, and support CSOs, governments and institutions in thinking through their strategies for securing and managing buy-in for change.

2. Design effective monitoring interventions

We provide expert guidance on helping our partners identify the key risks in their procurement systems, how open contracting can help improve monitoring practices and risk detection, and design effective citizen monitoring interventions.

3. Enhance procurement transparency

Leveraging the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), we help governments disclose public procurement data and ensure procurement transparency. By helping standardize procurement data, we can increase data coverage and quality across the entire procurement cycle – all of which can enable stakeholders ranging from government officials and businesses to civil society and journalists to easily access, analyze, and monitor procurement activities.

4. Using data to calculate red flags indicators

We have mapped out the key corruption risk indicators across the full public procurement process from planning to implementation. We provide technical advice on the data requirements and calculation methods to implement them in practice and help partners collect, publish and use procurement data for effective risk monitoring. Our newest solution, Cardinal, makes it easier to calculate common risk indicators of corruption and collusion in procurement.

5. Peer learning

We connect partners from our network to each other to learn and showcase their work regionally and across the globe both at public events and behind the scenes through 1:1 conversations and Q&As between organizations looking at similar contexts and challenges.

Case studies

Key resources

Red Flags for Integrity

This methodology guide shows how to use open data in public procurement, ideally released in the Open Contracting Data Standard, to identify corruption risks throughout the procurement process from planning to implementation.


Cardinal allows you to calculate common risk indicators of corruption and collusion in procurement using open contracting data.

Red Flags for Conservation

Building on our Red Flags for Integrity Guide, this resource reviews the red flags that could help shed light on when potential corruption or collusion on infrastructure projects could harm nature.

Mythbusting Confidentiality in Public Contracting

Concerns around confidentiality of information in contracts are arguably the most significant barriers to more openness. This guide proposes five core principles to make contracting information open-by-design to avoid a lazy default of routinely classifying information as confidential.

Open Contracting Legislative Guide

This new report provides insights and guidance on how countries have cemented open contracting approaches into their legislation modernizing public procurement, supporting reforms that put transparency, efficiency, and equity at its core.

UN Resolution

Promoting transparency and integrity in public procurement in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UNGASS Declaration

UN General Assembly Special Session on Corruption political declaration

UNCAC Reviews

The UNCAC implementation review mechanism is the main review mechanism of the implementation of the UNCAC Convention.


The Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) is the Anticorruption Mechanism of the Organization of American States.


We work with a wide range of civil society organizations, governments, funders and multilateral institutions to advance good governance and integrity in public procurement.

We are a member of these CSO Coalitions:

Our funding partners are:

Get in touch

Kristen Robinson,
Head of Advocacy

Gavin Hayman,
Executive Director

Camila Salazar,
Head of Data Analytics and Learning