Scottish procurement: open contracting strategy

Strategy to enable us to publish information about our procurement exercises, ensuring greater transparency on how we spend public money.

Annex 3 - Open contracting in other countries

The Open Contracting movement is growing throughout the world and, in 2016 alone, the Open Contracting Partnership reported that there has been a "dramatic rise in the adoption of open contracting, with over 25 countries committing to open contracting in their public procurement in some form" [5] . 2016 was also the year of the first high level global recognition that public contracting and procurement information should be open-by-default. This was recognised at both the 2016 UK Anti-Corruption Summit and in the Open Government Partnership's December 2016 Paris Declaration.

The UK Government

The UK is the first G7 country to commit to the Open Contracting Data Standard ( OCDS) for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority, Crown Commercial Service ( CCS). They aim to increase contracting transparency, and allow a deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users. The UK is taking a phased approach and as a first step has published a contract dashboard and open contract statistics. This complements the transparency initiatives already in place such as publishing tender and contract documents on Contracts Finder. A daily snapshot of the Contracts Finder dataset is also available via a public API interface. This allows users to search the Contracts Finder database and download the results in various open formats.


A coalition of businesses, civil society and government reformers created an award winning open contracting system, called ProZorro (meaning "transparent" in Ukrainian). Built on open source software and compliant with the Open Contracting Data Standard, the system has been designed to make it possible for government bodies to conduct procurement exercises electronically, in a transparent manner, while also making the information about public contracts easily accessible online for anyone to see. Although it was initially conceived as a tool for fighting corruption, the benefits of the system are much broader - increasing competition, reducing the time and money spent on contracting processes, helping buyers make better decisions and making procurement fairer for suppliers. In its first year, it saved the government 14% on its planned spending. This openness has encouraged a 50% increase in companies bidding for contracts, mostly smaller businesses that were previously shut out. [6]

Mexico City

Mexico City is the first city in the world to publish contracting information on all 5 stages of the Open Contracting Data Standard. On June 20, 2016 the city launched its open contracting portal, which enables citizens, business people and government representatives to see how the government is spending public money throughout the lifecycle of their contracts. The Department of Finance was the first of the city's agencies to pilot open contracting by opening more contract data to the public, which will help encourage competition, fight corruption and save taxpayers' money.


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