Open Contracting workshop at AbreLatam 2017

I previously wrote up my experiences when attending the AbreLatam and ConDatos conferences in San Juan, Costa Rica in August. One of the sessions I attended was the Open Contracting Partnership workshop, which was moderated by Juan Pane from Paraguay.

At the start of 2017, while I was travelling, I did a piece of work with the Open Contracting Partnership and so I have an interest in their current work in Latin America.

I recall it being an interesting discussion, with many issues, opportunities and projects that people raised and were involved in. At the end of the session I took the following photo of the worksheet that was produced, my apologies to the scribe as I don’t recall their name. Underneath the photo I have translated the text, as best I can. I’m happy to take suggestions for improvements in my translation.

There is also a write up of another OCP session at ConDatos on their blog

Open Contracting Partnership workshop at Abre Latam 2017

Open Contracting Partnership workshop at Abre Latam 2017

English Translation

Name of the session

Open Contracting

Participants’ Countries

Panama, Mexico, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Spain, Paraguay, United States, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil

What is happening in the region?

In Mexico and Colombia they are implementing the standard at a national level
Single public purchasing systems

What lessons have we learned?

It’s not (a question of) what data I want to use, I want to see all of it. This is a democratic question
It is very difficult to describe/follow a complete public procurement process
There is a lack of data standardization/systematization
Field = Access to program budgets is fundamental to analyse a purchasing process (in the field?)
The executed budget and the total amount paid have been very complicated to discover
There is no specificity about the items purchased
Users looking at the same information have different needs
We should share practices in the region
Bad budget planning
The importance of regulation
Data quality often depends on the public officials who fill the information

What are the main challenges?

Lack of quality of contracting data in Latin America
Owners and business partners are not public
There are many systems that contain contracting data but there is a lack of unique ids
Many instances (?) control the same recruitment process
There is a lack of clarity in the process of putting budgets together

Tracking a contract can be tricky/To follow up on a contract can be complicated
Check the actual values in order to standardize the prices
Gap of inequality of information
Empower civil society so that it can monitor budgets
System integration

What ideas or projects would you like to develop?

How public contracting data are used inside government
Close the gap in access to information. Transform data and information for the whole of society
Sanctions mechanisms
Accessibility of information – Improve how they are presented
Impact of purchases

Three proposals or demands that, no matter what, we should we take to ConDatos

  1. Intra-governmental data quality sanctions mechanisms
  2. System integration
  3. Specialized Technical Spaces

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