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Welcome to the Etherpad for the session on Open Contracting!
This etherpad has been created to help you to get the most of this session; to start and share the conversation before the festival, to document it during the festival and to spread the word about the outcomes after OKFestival. We've provided a template which we hope will help you to get started, but please feel free to change it to better suit your needs.
BEFORE THE FESTIVAL
Title of the Session and Link: OPEN CONTRACTING: Disclosing Data, Engaging for Results / http://sched.co/1tYgCGt
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 16th: 2:00-4:00 pm
Facilitator Contact Details: Felipe Estefan - Open Government Strategist, The World Bank - @FelipeEstefan
Organizing Team: Marcela Rozo, Steve Davenport, Tim Davies, Michael Roberts, Sarah Bird, Lindsey Marchessault, Ana Brandusescu, Katelyn Rogers, Eva Vozarova, Palo Lacko and Urs Buercky
Session Hashtag: #OpenContracting
Participants: pre-event, to get in touch with each other (feel free to add your Twitter handle):
@OpenContracting, @FelipeEstefan, @Marcela_Rozo, @DavenportSteve, @TimDavies, @MichaeloRoberts, @EvaVoz, @PaloLacko, @birdsarah, @jwyg, @danohu, @anabmap, @ocdata
AT THE FESTIVAL
## Participants - name, contact (if you want to leave it), number of attendees
- Gianfranco Cecconi, @giacecco, Digital Contraptions Imaginarium Ltd.
- Dan O'Huiginn, organized crime and corruption reporting project, @danohu
- Chris Adams @mrchrsiadams, Product Science Ltd
- Luigi Reggi @luigireggi OpenCoesione.gov.it & Monithon.it
- Hapee de Groot @hapeeg, Hivos
## Notes from the session
Marcela Rozo, "Open Contracting Partnership", World Bank
- 9.5 trillion USD estimated wasted in bad contracting, prone to mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption...
- [comment GCe: is recruitment considered part of contracting?]
- [comment GCe: do the participating organisation "eat their own dogfood"? e.g. does World Bank use open contracting?]
- open contracting is about disclosure and participation across all stages of the contracting process including delivery, for all sectors.
- Open Contracting works across sectors (infrastructure, health, education, extractives...) and across regions, both in the developing and the developed world.
- the initiative, chaired by the World Bank, has many partners in non profit and government, which include GIZ, Transparency International, Integrity Action, CoST, Oxfam America, the governments of Colombia and the Philippines
- we developed global principles definining the ideal picture of disclosure and participation in procurement: : http://www.open-contracting.org/global_principles
- we developed data standards
- and we supported implementing the above in participating countries, from Colombia to Congo and the Philippines (see the website)
- in some countries it is easier as the principle of participation for example is already part of current law
- we also facilitate knowledge exchange between practicing countries
Eva Vozarova, Palo Lacko, "Fair Play Alliance", Slovakia
- Stories we experienced:
- Noticeboard scandal: bids published only on one physical noticeboard hidden somewhere in the department's building Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy-style. The resulting contract was cancelled after a long struggle. Were the call for bids and contract published online, significantly more money (millions of EUR) could have been saved.
- Software licences: EUR 500k saved by organising purchasing software licences across government organisations. The overpriced contract was found thanks to the fact that goverment started publishing contracts in 2011 - FPA and others could comment on the new contract at an early stage.
- Disclosure is just the beginning
- 6 steps that need to happen in order for contracts publishing to be meaningful: 1. Get the data 2. Make it available, lower the barrier to working with it (Slovakia§s case - FPA launched an app for more efficient working with contracts http://otvorenezmluvy.sk/), 3. Understand the contracts, 4. Involve whistleblowers and experts, 5. Push for cancellation of overpriced contracts, 6. Cooperate with others
- One of the key things that helped with letting people understand if contracts represented good value, or owere otherwise problematic was to celebrate the specialists donating their time, to make sense of these contracts. Journalists, most NGOS and analysts typically don't have the deep domain expertise to tell good contracts from bad ones.
Bibhusan Bista, Nepal
- Nepal is listed as the second most corrupt nation in South Asia
- However recent decree from PM for transparency
- Inappropriate infrastructure is being tendered for at the moment - if there
- 2013 first stage of open contracting, geocoding foreign aid projects, visualising on a map to identify potential disparity
- second stage: scaling up: more government departments, buy-in from central procurement agency, civil society involvement, building concrete use cases to offer to government
- we started standardising and cleaning the data, made the interactive map richer, engaged the people
- important to build capacity on both supply and demand fronts
Q: What format does data arrive in?
A: Slovakia - PDFs, which need to be OCR'd. It's a lots of work, but it is possible
Q. where does open contracting end and privacy starts? e.g. can I be transparent about public servants' salaries?
A: private sector often cites commercial confidentiality as reasons for not to disclose. some work is going into the initial tendering process, to declare which parts can not be kept confidential beforehand, rather than letting companies claim their proposal was written with theunderstanding that it would be kept confidential. Work is being done to define general directions as of what should be transparent and what should be protected.
Q. to what extent does having a company registration number help in working out the true beneficiaries of a contract?
There is work going on establishing linkages between companies to understand who is really benefiting from a given contract
Open Contracting Data Standards
Michael Roberts, Web Foundation
- The standard was defined after talking to "as amny stakeholders as possible" and evaluating pre-existing options. We included a study of how the study empowered identifying issues such as corruption.
- Beta release aimed at August, final in November
- Standard will keep developing for bredth rather than depth, following real use cases
- Governance - Lead: Josema Alonso
- Standard - Lead: Sarah Bird
- Demand - Lead: Lindsey Marchessault
- Tools - Leads: Ana Brandusescu & Steve Davenport
Governance (Lead: Jose Alonso)
Participants: Andrew Lamb (Appropedia Foundation), Maggie Murphy (Transparency International)
- Principles at the core
- Leading Examples
- Levels of Engagement
- Still Independent
- For a while until better shaped/formed
- To go to SDO (naturally as part of the process)
Standard (Lead: Sarah Bird)
* Jed Miller
* Kees (Foreign Affairs) & Roderick (Cordaid) - both from Dutch Government
* Jeni Tennison
* Ian - Open Spending
Jed - has been working on extractives and had been thinking and holding discussions last year on how to handle data interoperabilty
Ian - building neural networks to match company networks to companites house - 180,000 companies in UK data set
How to do unique identifiers for government departments
Agreed that the way to do any generic identifier in the absence of unique identifiers:
- freestyle field
- prefix / system for id (maybe a uri)
difference between who the payment check went to & who the contract is with
also need to think about historical company ids
cordaid has been thinking about results frameworks and the challenges with making that data comparable & aggregatable
we need to think how things should be formatted & structured so that people can *get value*
The big things I got out of our session were:
1 - agreeing a system for a typical / generic way to handle unique identifiers (in the absence of unique identifiers) - which hopefully has sufficient redundancy to link in the future
2 - agreeing with Jeni that a simple parent_unique_contract id would be sufficient to enable us to do nesting of contracting processes (e.g. in the case of sub-contracting)
3 - a meeting with Kees and Rodrick to discuss results in IATI and what we can learn from that for open-contracting where we will also have milestones & deliverables (we also discussed at that meeting the possibilities for linking IATI and Open Contracting - where does IATI stop and contracting start)
Demand (Lead: Lindsey Marchessault)
Each member of the breakout group on demand first introduced themselves and what they hoped could be achieved using contracting data - the group was comprised of government representatives, journalists, researchers, monitors, and campaigners. There were two strong use cases that came out of these introductions - the desire to achieve value for money and the desire to to detect corrupt and fraudulent activity. We broke into two groups. The V4M group discussed the motivations of the government to adopt open contracting principles and standard - wanting to better track spending, more efficient procurement processes, lowering barriers to entry for small and medium sized enterprises, to get more competition and lower prices. The anti-corruption group discussed identification of collusive and corrupt practices and some of the approaches of identifying indicators in procurement data that are red flags of corruption. The input from these discussions is incorporated in the User Cases for the Open Contracting Data Standard.
Tools (Leads: Ana Brandusescu, Steve Davenport)
Participants: John Adams ( DFID, IATI), Mark Brough (PublishWhatYouFund), Chris Adams (Product Science), Eva Vozarova (Fair-Play Alliance, Slovakia)
- What tools are needed to make Open Contracting supply and demand work?
- What are the tools that drive adoption?
- What is your experience with previous tools? Good? Bad?
What tools are needed make open contracting supply and demand side work?
- Crawling tools / scrapers
- Handling different file sizes
- eg. Can this contract get used by another org?
What are the tools that drive adoption?
What is your experience with previous tools? good? bad?
- IATI - not enough tools to produce info for multiple activities
- finding sustainable models
e.g., no unique ID to link contract to procurement
- How do we deal with inconsistencies in contract phases and data availability?
- How to handle heterogeneous e-gov portals? Open e-portals?
- Need competitive analysis for private sector
- Focus on country systems
- Multiple languages -> How do we localize original language data into the standard?
- Political pressure / peer pressure
- Do we need a data store / API?
AFTER THE FESTIVAL
## What did you learn and/or make?
## How/what could you teach others?