Government contracting is better, smarter and fairer when citizens and businesses are actively involved. Open contracting can improve lives everywhere. It is vital to modernizing government, fighting corruption, reforming markets and fostering business innovation and entrepreneurship. So, on 28-29 November 2017, five conveners gathered at the Open Contracting Global briging together around 200 of the best and brightest innovators in this field to explore how open data and user engagement can drive a transformation in public contracting.
In the last three years, open contracting has established itself as a key area of better, more responsive public governance. As Sanjay Pradhan, who leads the Open Government Partnership, told everyone at #OCGlobal17 in his opening keynote, open contracting is now one of the leading emerging norms of open government more generally. Some 16 countries are publishing to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and, in total, more than 30 countries have committed to doing so. At OC Global 17, representatives from government, civil society, business, media, academia, civic technologists and international institutions presented reform efforts, projects, platforms, lessons and impact among a vibrant field of practitioners who share a goal of revolutionizing government contracting.
Public procurement – long perceived as a dull, compliance-based exercise on which most public money is spent – is at the cutting edge of modernizing government. New, user-driven solutions are emerging, delivering results for the public sector, businesses and citizens. This report outlines the key discussion themes and lessons from the gathering.