Open contracting: a success story for open government

6 Dec 2016

As governments and civil society gather in Paris from December 7-9 for the global summit of the Open Government Partnership, 15 countries have included specific actions to open up their public contracting and provide opportunities for citizens to engage through open contracting. These countries are Albania, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia, Paraguay, Romania, Sierra Leone, the UK, Uruguay, and the USA.

On December 8, Colombia, France, Mexico, Ukraine and the UK will launch the Contracting 5, a new network to share knowledge and innovations in open contracting, following a joint commitment at the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May. A launch reception will take place at 19:00 at the Mexican Embassy in Paris. To register, contact

2016 has been a turning point for public procurement, making “open by default” the new standard for how government buys goods and services, and runs public works. Open contracting has gained traction as an innovative and effective open government solution.

This runs against worrying trends of shrinking space for civil society, high levels of graft, and citizens growing disillusioned with government.

“Public contracting touches us all. It is key to building the roads, schools and hospitals that we all depend on. Turning yellowing stacks of paper into actionable information provides a basic building block for broader public benefit such as better deals by governments, a level playing field for business, less fraud and corruption, and quality goods and services for citizens.” said Gavin Hayman, Executive Director of the Open Contracting Partnership.

Gavin is available for interviews and background comment throughout the week.

The Open Contracting Partnership has also supervised a new study for the Dutch development agency Hivos and Article 19 on the readiness of governments and civil society actors in 15 countries to publish and use open contracting data and documents. The study will be published at the OGP Summit.

Useful facts and figures:

  • An estimated US$9.5 trillion, around 15% of global GDP, is spent annually on public procurement.
  • 15 Open Government Partnership countries have made 19 open contracting commitments. 13 countries have made commitments to open contracting in 2016 alone.
  • The UK, led by the Crown Commercial Service, has redeveloped its contract portal Contracts Finder to provide in-depth understanding on how government buys through open contracting analytics and access to over 50,000 opportunities.
  • In Ukraine, a fully open contracting portal ( saved the government 14% on planned spending in its first year. The number of companies bidding for contracts increased by 50%.
  • When Slovakia made it mandatory to publish contracts online, competition among bidders almost doubled. Over 8% of citizens checked a public contract in the last year.
  • Corruption and fraud may amount to 20-25% of procurement budgets, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.


About the Open Contracting Partnership

The Open Contracting Partnership connects governments, civil society and business to open up and monitor public contracting. We support the global open contracting community and work with partners across sectors and along the whole process of government contracting. We run a global helpdesk at to support the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard, a global schema describing what information to publish at each stage of the contracting cycle. More information at

Press contact:
Georg Neumann
Senior Communications Manager