Transforming public contracting through open data & smarter engagement

Public contracts matter.

One in every three dollars spent by government is on a contract with a company. Public contracting is the world’s largest marketplace, covering $13 trillion of spending every year.

It is the bricks and mortar of public benefit where the vital goods, works, and services for us all are purchased. Yet, too many governments don’t seem to know what they are buying and selling, for how much, when and with whom they are dealing. And it’s government’s number one corruption risk.

Open contracting can change all this. We can transform how business is done by engaging stakeholders across government, business and civil society to collaborate on reforms, engage users, respond to feedback and to create open data & tools to drive systematic change.

A modern economy needs a smart, data-driven government contracting ecosystem. We bring governments, businesses, and citizens together to build one.

Open contracting is about publishing and using open, accessible and timely information on public contracting to engage citizens and businesses to fix problems and deliver results.

Open contracting works!

We have documented a range of benefits:

  • Better value for money for governments
  • Fairer competition and a level playing field for business, especially for smaller businesses
  • Higher-quality goods, works, and services for Indonesians
  • Preventing fraud and corruption
  • Smarter analysis and better solutions for public problems

Openness leads to fundamentally better outcomes for government (more insight, analysis and efficiency), for business (fairer competition, ability to research the market, fostering entrepreneurship) and civil society (improved integrity, better monitoring and tracking of service delivery).

How open contracting can help tackle challenges
in key areas of public policy

Our vision of a modern and efficient procurement system that works for everyone

We support systemic reforms for fair and effective public contracting. We help innovations jump scale. And we are building a global community to shape and share the policies, data, tools, and results that will get us there.

We see open contracting is a journey rather than a single destination. Here are the common stages that we have seen from reforms that get to real impact and systemic change. Click on each stage to find out more.

Publish, use and improve open data

The world is moving from paper to data.

We help redesign public contracting – from planning, to tender and awards and onto contract management – as a user-friendly digital service with standardized open data to enable automated data gathering and business analytics and a variety of stakeholders to use the information.

Improve stakeholder engagement and oversight

Improving transparency and information is a means to an end. Acting on that information is what creates change. Engaging and responding to stakeholders leads to better planning, contracting and contract management processes. The evidence is clear: engineering feedback loops into public contracting encourages competition, fair play and better performance.

Measure, adapt and institutionalize reforms

Change is hard and progress is never linear. It is important to be agile, to have permission to experiment, measure and adapt. You need allies to succeed; sharing progress builds trust and engagement.

New policies and processes need to be hardwired into practices and embedded in legislation and institutional changes.

Set clear policy goals for public contracting

At the heart of open contracting is driving better results from procurement and from public contracts.

The whole contracting process should be simple, accessible and inclusive, designed with users across government, businesses, and civil society to maximize participation, integrity and efficiency.

We support reformers to set, measure and achieve their goals.

A new global norm

Open contracting has become a new global norm, recommended and endorsed by global bodies such as the G7, the G20, OECD, the European Commission, the World Bank, the UN General Assembly Special Session against corruption, and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

Global open government and open data initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership and the Open Data Charter also support opening up public contracts as a priority issue. A government’s commercial relationships is one of the most valuable datasets that it possesses: it’s where the money and the power are in government.

About OCP

The Open Contracting Partnership is an independent non-profit public charity 501(c)(3) working in over 50 countries.

We are 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 ensure 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 ensuring citizens get the services that they deserve.

Spun out of the World Bank in 2015, the Open Contracting Partnership is now an independent not-for-profit working in over 50 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’.

Get in touch

Nanda Sihombing,
Senior Program Manager for Asia