What is the most important role open contracting plays in the fight against corruption?
A common assertion described public procurement as a conduit pipe used to drain government’s slim resources, especially in connivance with fraudulent public officials. But, open contracting strives to stop these leakages. It drives accountability and attempts to ensure equal access to the common wealth. Open contracting helps the public raise essential questions as to how state resources are spent, and this, I will say, is a significant tool for holding power to account.
What has been your proudest moment or achievement in building accountability or transparency into government?
That remarkable moment of pride that might forever linger was when I exposed the Presidency through a non-existent Office of the Chief Economic Adviser (OCEAP) that steadily got budgetary allocations for about five years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet had no appointee. After the report, the presidency ceased the corrupt process and, a year later, made an appointee.
What’s your go-to resource for building accountability in public procurement?
The ICIR databank, NOCOPO, BPP, Budeshi, Open Treasury and World Bank procurement portal are my go-to resources.
If public procurement was an animal, which one do you think it would be and why?
If public procurement was an animal, it would be a lion because the king of the jungle is often deliberate and systematic in killing its prey. It does planning, thinking, and surveillance before acting. The public procurement process is not arbitrary; it involves a systemic and strategic approach.