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Expand open contracting and due diligence in procurement

What are your views on expanding open contracting and due diligence in procurement?Lead implementing agency/actor

Department of Finance

Commitment 

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?

Under Commitment 4.3 of Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan, the Government assessed its compliance with the Open Contracting Data Standard. Following this assessment and a public consultation process, the Government agreed to progress options to increase its compliance with the Open Contracting Data Standard by publishing AusTender contracting data in an OCDS-compliant schema.

The Open Contracting Data Standard sets out key documents and data that should be published at each stage of government procurement. The Standard enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. It was created to support organisations to increase contracting transparency, and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.

What is the commitment? 

Australia will progress the publication of existing federal Government procurement data using the Open Contracting Data Standard schema to publish an additional AusTender dataset on data.gov.au. We will then assess the use and value of that data for relevant purposes and to relevant user groups including government, business and civil society.  Additionally, Australia will review existing procurement due diligence processes, report on the outcomes of the review, and consider opportunities to further support the Open Government Partnership values of transparency and accountability.

How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

This commitment will build on the Open Contracting commitment in the original Open Government National Action Plan.  

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?

This commitment will advance the OGP values of transparency, accountability and access to government information. 

Milestones

Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable  Start Date: End Date:
Publish additional OCDS-compliant dataset. Underway Q4 2018
Review existing due diligence processes of relevant Commonwealth entities and publish outcome of review. Q1 2019 Q4 2019
Review use of OCDS-compliant dataset Q2 2019 Q4 2019
Implement additional measures (if required) Q4 2019 Q2 2020

Contacts

Department of Finance: procurementagencyadvice@finance.gov.au

Other actors involved

State actors: Australian Government entities bound by the Commonwealth Procurement Framework.

CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups: Transparency International Australia, Open Contracting Partnership

Discussion question

Is this draft commitment specific, relevant, and ambitious?

 

To participate, you’ll need to register for an account. You’ll then be able to respond to the questions under each of the proposed themes, leave a general comment or respond to those of other participants, and vote on comments.

We expect your comments to be respectful and relevant. As comments are moderated, they won’t appear until they’ve been approved. If, after submission, you do not receive a notification stating that your comment has been queued for review, your submission has not been successfully transmitted to us. In this case, please email your submission to ogp@pmc.gov.au and we will publish it on your behalf. Comments will close 8 July.

If you wish to make a longer submission, you can email us at ogp@pmc.gov.au. We’ll publish all submissions we receive.

The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in July, the Forum will be asked to consider feedback and make final recommendations to government on the form of Australia's second Open Government National Action Plan 2018-20.

 

Submissions and comments received via email

Comment

 

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Open Government...

The Canberra consultation to finalise the National Action Plan were held on 27 June and were attended by four participants from civil society. The following comments below were received from participants on this draft commitment.

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Gregory Thompson

In developing this proposal note comments on the proposed commitments to engage State and Federal Governments in the course of the second Action Plan for the OGP.

I recommend again the Clean Contracting Manifesto (see https://www.transparency.org/files/content/feature/Clean_Contracting_Man...) which provides a pathway for implementation of this commitment in NAP 2

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Peter Timmins

The Open Contracting Partnership submission and Greg Thompson make useful suggestions.

The Open Contracting commitment in Australia's first national action plan was not handled in an open and collaborative manner.

Open Contracting is receiving attention in many countries, seen as an important step towards dealing with corruption in public procurement, and leading to efficiency and cost savings.

On one aspect, disclosure of contracts, the Commonwealth Auditor General continues to find overuse of commercial confidentiality.

And in NSW the law since 2006 requires publication of contracts in excess of $5 million and details for contracts below that amount-with lots of get out clauses that unfortunately are still overused.

AusTender doesn't get close.

The Open Contracting Data Standard of course involves more than this.
https://www.open-contracting.org/data-standard/

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Barbara Reed

Open contracting: a review of the existing strategies for procurement in the digital marketplace (operated by the Digital Transformation Agency) would be welcomed. The overly constrained categorisation of services, and the failure to resource any review process, while allowing superficial judgements without a review process on which categories apply to which businesses, constrains innovation and acts as an exclusionary mechanism. Exclusion from categories can severely impact on the market, particularly for SMEs. At the same time, such initiatives – if appropriately resourced, structured and supported by a review process – would advance the sector, and potentially allow cross jurisdictional cooperation. However the existing structures are inadequate.

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