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World’s First Open Contracting Data Standard Launched

Web Foundation · November 17, 2014

Today, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the world’s first Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS). The OCDS is a product of the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), and was developed by the World Wide Web Foundation through a project supported by the Omidyar Network and the World Bank. The OCDS is set to transform the way governments publish contracting data, and will shine a light on how trillions of dollars of public money are spent, helping to fight corruption, improve service delivery and enhance market efficiency. Countries at the forefront of this process include Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico and Paraguay.

Governments around the world spend an estimated US $9.5 trillion each year in contracting but, until now, data relating to these contracts has largely been inaccessible. The OCDS gives governments a common format and set of practical tools which will allow them to publish contracting data consistently and openly. The OCDS will help to ensure public contracting is transparent and efficient, allowing businesses to compete effectively, governments to improve service delivery and citizens to understand how their money is being spent.

Gavin Hayman, Incoming Executive Director of the OCP said: “It is time to end secret deals between companies and governments to make sure public resources are spent openly, effectively and efficiently. Having accessible, comparable data covering the key items of information in a deal is key to achieving this objective”

Anne Jellema, CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation said: “Corruption adds an estimated $2.3 trillion to the cost of government contracts every year. This new standard is a big step forward in the fight to eliminate fraud and waste in public procurement, enabling contracts to be published online in a transparent, consistent and user-friendly format so that anyone can monitor them.”

Watch the brief video below to learn more about the OCDS, and access the OCDS and all supporting documents on the dedicated OCDS website.

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