The European Public Sector Information Platform has published a report, attached below, which makes the proposition that open access to public procurement data has the potential to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of future procurements, showing a real economic benefit.
“Procurements by the public sector represent an enormous part of GDP in the European Union. According to a 2010 study conducted on behalf of the European Commission around 17,30% of the EU GDP, or about 2,16 trillion EUR, is spent on public procurements.
Open availability of procurement data represents a significant opportunity for all stakeholders: it facilitates access to procurement markets for aspiring bidding companies, the increased competition provides better value for money for governments in times of austerity, and the transparency on public spending improves democratic legitimization towards European citizens, thus strengthening democracy as a whole. For this reason, the publication of some procurement data has been made mandatory in public procurement legislation, ensuring that at least a baseline of information is available to aspiring re-users.
This paper will show how the re-use of procurement data can serve both to create economic benefits and to evaluate the effectiveness and fairness of public spending, including through specific examples. It will also illustrate the main challenges and gaps that re-users still face, such as the unavailability of data and the difficulties in ensuring its usability. This report shows that procurement data can have immense value to sociery. It is therefore imperative that the holders of procurement data are aware of the potential benefits that can be realized, and adopt policies that allow re-users to overcome these barriers. Only by doing so can the full potential of procurement data be unlocked.”