On December 9th 2020, IDFI participated in the webinar ‘Open Data in Action: Beneficial Ownership and Public Procurement’ organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The event provided a platform to generate open discussions and build capacity among relevant stakeholders on the potential of open data in enhancing good governance measures and enabling economic recovery during and in the post-COVID-19 era.
The webinar brought together relevant government representatives and civil society organizations from South-East Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as international experts, open data practitioners and OSCE consultants to discuss and share experiences on best practices in open data initiatives and their potential impact on ongoing reforms in the area of public procurement and beneficial ownership across the OSCE region.
The event focused on how open data initiatives can thrive when leaders supporting them succeed to advance wider reforms encouraging a culture of openness, or when political imperatives are translated into proper data management approaches that ensure sustainable resources and policies for open data to survive political changes. It also aimed at discussing how such experiences can serve as good examples and have a potential impact across the ongoing reforms in public procurement and beneficial ownership across the OSCE region.
Webinar consisted of three parts: 1. Knowledge is Power: the Significance of Open Beneficial Ownership; 2. Building and Maintaining Political Support for the Anti-Corruption Agenda and Open Data Tools; and 3. Open Data in Action, Enhancing Efficiency and Social Impact in Public Procurement.
During the third part of the event - Open Data in Action, Enhancing Efficiency and Social Impact in Public Procurement, IDFI presented to the audience the overview of public procurement development in Georgia, the progress made in this direction, and the remaining challenges in regards to availability of procurement-related information in open-data format as well as the cases of political influence in COVID-19 related public procurement. During the third part of the event the representative of Yale School of Management and the Executive Director of the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST) discussed the ways in which open data, and open government data in particular, can help guard fiscal sustainability, affordability, value for money and ensure efficient and effective procurement, particularly infrastructure projects.
Good governance of public infrastructure, including transparency around the procurement in the sector, can yield substantial benefits for all. With more open government data being disclosed, shared and reused, there are opportunities to strengthen critical infrastructure resilience.
IDFI would like to thank the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) for organizing a highly informative event and for providing IDFI with the opportunity of sharing a CSO perspective on the importance of open data in public procurement.