Open contracting going local

Mexico City is the first city in the world to publish information on the planning, tendering, awarding, contracting and implementation procurement stages using the Open Contracting Data Standard. On June 20, 2016 the city launched its open contracting portal, which enables citizens, business people, technologists and government representatives to see how the government is spending public money through contracts. The Department of Finance is the first of the city’s agencies to pilot open contracting. The Service Administration and Public Works offices came online in January 2017, followed in July by Rural Economic Development, Environment, and Civil Protection. Each new agency added represents an important step towards greater transparency and accountability and the city has committed to publishing data from all city agencies by the end of the year. We hope that Mexico City’s efforts will inspire many other cities and countries to do the same.

In July 2017 Transparencia Mexicana, with support from Mexico City, Bloomberg Associates and the OCP, launched a civil society challenge to encourage use of the steadily emerging data. More information on the challenge can be found here.

With 9 million inhabitants, Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world. So we were very excited when we began to engage with Mexico City on an open contracting showcase and learning project in spring 2015. This project will test and demonstrate the benefits of open contracting at a local level, taking advantage of the more direct feedback loops on issues that people care about.

Bloomberg Associates has been a partner from the very beginning and introduced us to the Mexico City team. This partnership is in line with our strategy to build a field of organizations engaging on open contracting. Bloomberg Associates have since promoted open contracting in other cities, in the U.S. and beyond.

As the project expands to include the other agencies and engages more stakeholders, we will continue to support the project’s implementation and share what we learn. The pioneering work on the portal is now available as a model for other government agencies.