Open contracting approaches to emergency procurement: open data, business intelligence & community engagement
Innovative response: open data and open government procurement to regulate and monitor emergency COVID-19 response using the Ukrainian government’s Prozorro open contracting platform.
Emergency procurements is excluded from the general procurement law; however a list of goods/works/services which could be procured is adopted (the list is structured, covers INNs for medicines, GMDN classifiers for medical devices) and structured open data for reporting for all signed and concluded contracts is mandatory. This enables both speed and transparency and public accountability of the supplies procured.
Because the reporting is structured according to the Open Contracting Data Standard and generates real-time, reliable, machine-readable, openly accessible open data, a separate reporting dashboard in a business intelligence tool has been developed to display all contracts concluded to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
The government is actively collaborating with business and civil society to establish real-time monitoring of all emergency contracts.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
During an emergency like the COVID-19 crisis, contracting procedures must be fast and as frictionless as possible. These two characteristics trump other key objectives such as fostering competition and promoting inclusion. And large payments may be made upfront to secure supplies.
While emergency procedures are needed, they must remain publicly accountable for every contract concluded and spent. Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent.
Ukraine has excluded all emergency procurement needed to tackle COVID-19 pandemic from the law. However, the open national procurement platform ProZorro was upgraded with a new reporting method for COVID-19 and the country obliged all emergency contracts to be structurally reported and published in full, including terms of payment and delivery and value. These details are also shared as open data, which is immediately displayed on a public business intelligence tool under a COVID-19 dashboard.
Still being a country with a high level of corruption, the government encouraged civil society organizations to help with monitoring of all emergency procurement to be sure that there are no manipulations on the local level. With this approach, every procurement manager, controlling authority or indeed citizen can monitor emergency spending."
Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Agriculture of Ukraine
State-owned enterprise "ProZorro"
Transparency International Ukraine
Open Contracting Partnership
We are looking for good examples of how other countries are dealing with COVID-19 emergency procurement, in particular data collection, results monitoring. We will appreciate if others share their experience in dealing with a similar problem.