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2021 Open Contracting Champion: Elías Garcés Valdés

What does changing the status quo in public procurement mean to you?

Changing the status quo in procurement implies thinking outside the box and starting to see how countries on other continents are doing it, or even seeing where they are doing better. In my work, change is coming in the world of healthcare, so that regardless of the type of insurance you have, regardless of where you live or the social class you are in, you can receive good, quality medications at the time that you need them.

For the above, there are great challenges that are currently being worked on.

If public procurement was a sport, which one do you think it would be and why?

Soccer, because one needs a team which is supporting decision-making: knowing where the ball is, who carries it, understanding the space, where one should play, and where one should not make mistakes. Public procurement has these elements at the time of publication, the resolution of questions, the award and then the execution. In our case, we always want to win, because a win implies less spending on medications for Chile, and we want to be the best in our league.

What is one thing you would say to an open contracting reformer who wants to break with tradition?

Look at the data, analyze, do data science, and compare. The comparison must be within the same territory and then with other countries. From there, it is important to have complete knowledge of the process—then you can clearly see the areas for improvement with foundations in the place where they work and begin to perform analysis or trial and error.

What’s your go-to resource for public procurement?

Internally, there are public institutions that can support us in changes or suggestions for modifications in procurement. Outside of our government there is Open Contracting Partnership, universities, and institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, etc.

Find Elias on LinkedIn.

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