What is the most important role open contracting plays in the fight against corruption?
Most corruption cases are related to public procurement, and one of the contributing factors to corruption in government contracting is the information gap between buyers and suppliers (as well as the public in general). That is why opening up contracts is important. It reduces the “gray area” of procurement information, helps suppliers better understand government needs while creating a competitive market, and empowers the public to monitor procurement processes and also make sure that all government purchases are based on public need.
What has been your proudest moment or achievement in building accountability or transparency into government?
My proudest moment was when the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) followed up with my organization, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), to provide a dashboard for emergency procurement—which had never existed before. Considering Indonesia is a country that has been hit hard by COVID-19 and is often affected by natural disasters, our government will likely use emergency procurement to address these urgent challenges. So, it’s very important to publish the data. Currently, we are trying to support ministries and institutions to upload as much emergency procurement data as they have into the dashboard.
Transparency and accountability are just the means to an end. In your work, what are the most important end goals?
In the end, the budget that the government allocates and the procurement processes that they conduct are for the prosperity of the public. When government is transparent and accountable, this results in better public services that are provided for the public and a decent quality of living for all.
If public procurement was an animal, which one do you think it would be and why?
The Antarctic blue whale. It is the biggest animal on the planet, and just like procurement, it is massive and highly complicated.
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