UNICEF with Pristina Municipality and ODK Establish pioneering Online Procurement Platform
In order to improve the lives of citizens, Municipalities around the world use taxpayers’ money to procure goods and services that are necessary for a community to flourish.
In order to improve the lives of citizens, Municipalities around the world use taxpayers’ money to procure goods and services that are necessary for a community to flourish. Though many of these procurements pertain to issues that citizen care about, the latter often have limited access to municipality contract data due to a lack of transparency and accountability, and are therefore left in the dark on important issues such as where their taxpayer money goes to or how much is being paid for a particular procurement.
In Pristina, Kosovo, a new standard of Municipality transparency is emerging as the latter have begun opening information on contract processes including full procurement procedures, solicitation and implementation data. The data also includes full publication of signed contracts with vendors. This important development in transforming public spending comes after a new UNICEF-backed online platform went operational, promising to allow every citizen of Pristina to have access to real-time, open data on public contracts approved by the Municipality of Pristina.
Developed by Open Data Kosovo and the Municipality of Pristina through UNICEF’s Techstitution initiative, the platform– dubbed ‘Open Contracts’– is created to drive efficiency and transparency in procurement and contracting services in Pristina Municipality. The digital solution will put data and technology at the center of every decision designed to improve the quality of life for Pristina citizens.
The platform includes two modules: the first one directed at aiding the managerial structure of the institution, and the second one solely focused on enabling the public’s access to contracts. What this means is that besides greatly facilitating access to Municipality procurement processes, the platform also serves to regulate and accelerate the management of public contracts by municipal officials. The platform also indicates the dynamics of the execution of each contract: green contracts are those that have been completed in time; yellow indicates contracts approaching the deadline; and red indicates contracts that have passed the deadline. This stresses public responsibility on the institution to take appropriate measures to ensure the completion of a procurement process in due time.
Evidence shows that increasing transparency and public engagement in government contracting is a powerful way to craft better public deals, improve public services, deter fraud and corruption, build trust and promote a more competitive business environment.
UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo believes that access to information is a big step towards responsive and transparent governance, which is why we highly value the commitment of the Municipality of Pristina and Open Data Kosovo for making this platform a reality.