I’m part of a small team within Scottish Government, responsible for implementing Scottish Procurement’s Open Contracting Strategy, which was published in September 2017.
Since the publication of the strategy we have made a number of enhancements to our national contract advertising portal, Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) in order to meet the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which I thought might be of interest to you.
• Applying the Open Government Licence to the information published on the site, including contract notices, contract award notices and any published contracts registers
• Creating a dedicated Open Contracting area on PCS which is open and accessible to the public, without the need to register.
• Made contract and award notices available in new, downloadable formats rather than just html.
• Where contracting authorities are also using PCS to carry out the tender exercise, any procurement documents associated with the procurement are now permanently available after the closing date for receipt of the tenders.
• The ability to bulk downloads of notice information which is available in OCDS and TED and can be downloaded in JSON, XML and Excel.
Provision of an Application Programme Interface (API) which means bulk download information will be machine readable.
• The ability to download the statistics from each contracting authority’s buyer profile in either Excel or CSV.
• Application a globally unique identifier (OCID) to notices published on the site which can be used to join-up documents associated with the same procurement exercise.
• Linking the procurement exercise stages through the globally unique identifier.
• Made the unique identifier publicly visible for users and enabled searches on PCS to return results using this identified.
It is mandatory for public bodies to use PCS to advertise or award contracts. Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. As these changes have been applied across the entire site, whenever a public body published contract information using PCS, this is automatically available in formats that are aligned to the Open Contracting Data Standard.
We recognise that this is a process of continuous improvement, so we’re working closely with Open Contracting Partnership to further increase procurement transparency. We have a number of new commitments included in the recently published Open Government Partnership Scottish National Action Plan 2018-20 these commitments are:
• Consulting wider civil society on how best to make the procurement information we publish both useful and accessible.
• Publishing contract documents - starting with large, collaborative contracts
• Publish more information about our procurement-related spend.
Part of these public commitments is to have a consultation with civil society on how best to publish the procurement information, this will be held before the end of May this year. We will be posting an invitation to the event on this site as soon as the arrangements are finalised.
The Scottish Government will be hosting an Open Data and Data Literacy Roundtable meeting on Friday 26 April in Edinburgh. We will publicising this event and we will let you know about this event shortly.
if you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org