"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be."
Lord Kelvin

Data publication practices of public procurement authorities around the world – 2018


November 8, 2018


The report deals with the results of 2018 CRCB’s survey which focused on the data publication practices of 118 public procurement authorities around the world based on an empirical analysis of their websites. We analyse two main questions: (i) how easily accessible the data of public tenders at contract level are in the analysed websites; (ii) which pieces of information in contract level are accessible in structured and downloaded format. The report describes and evaluates the data publication practices of public procurement authorities based on different indicators of the ease of access to and extensiveness of the published contract-level data. It gives a brief assessment of the availability of English language websites and an overview of the OCDS protocol, the coded contents of PPA websites. The results show that in the 112 countries and 6 regions included in this report there were 92 cases where the website of public procurement authority existed. Only 67 countries or regions (56%) publish structured data tables of awarded procurement contracts. The data tables are accessible in an online structured format in 64 countries and regions (54%), while only 28 (24%) make it possible to download the data. This also means that in 46% of the cases, citizens cannot have any precise knowledge on how their states spend the taxpayers’ money: when the public contract was concluded, how many public procurements were managed by the public institutions case by case and how much the value of each one was; who were the winners, and how much value was won by each winner, etc. The composite indicators used in the analysis which reflect the online data publication quality and the data availability show that both developed and developing countries, and countries with high and with low TI CPI scores have average or poor scores. These results point out that not only in developing and emerging countries there is still a to-do list to be accomplished concerning the improvement of quality of public procurement data publication but in the developed countries as well.

The report (pdf)

Summary in Hungarian (pdf)