Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Brian Beamish, is calling on all levels of the public sector to proactively publish contracting information so that the public may scrutinize the spending of government funds.
By openly disclosing information about the allocation of resources, public bodies have an opportunity to foster greater public trust, improve accountability and engage with Ontarians.
New Guidance for Open Contracting
A key principle of Open Government is proactive disclosure – the release of information in anticipation of the public’s needs. To embrace this principle and make procurement processes transparent, public bodies should disclose how contracts are awarded, what has been contracted for, how they chose the successful bidders, the various costs of the contract and who is responsible for the decisions related to the contract. Making this information available clarifies government decision-making around procurement and empowers individuals to engage with the process. To assist organizations in becoming more transparent, the IPC has published a new guidance document, Opening Contracting: Proactive Disclosure of Procurement Records. It offers tips on designing and implementing a transparent procurement process, while still protecting confidentiality when appropriate.