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New data standard to help shine light on public procurement

Thomson Reuters Foundation – Transparency activists announced plans on Tuesday to create a common data standard that will help open up public contracts around the world to greater scrutiny and empower citizens to hold their governments to account.

Governments globally spend an estimated $9.5 trillion every year on public procurement but the contracts that govern that spending are often opaque or deliberately hidden from the public’s view, making it difficult for citizens to question them.

The standard will be developed by the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), a group composed of transparency watchdogs, governments and the World Bank in partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation, a foundation that promotes the web as a public good. The work will be funded by The Omidyar Network, the philanthropic vehicle of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.