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New rules announced at London’s Anti-Corruption Summit

New transparency rules to government contracts were announced at yesterdays Anti-Corruption Summit in London. Under the new rules, public contracts will be visible to the public from the beginning of the bidding process through to the delivery. The government has set out 13 commitments on transparency, anti-corruption, and open government to retain the UK’s position as one of the most transparent governments.

Anti-Corruption Commitments

The 13 commitments set out by the UK Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18 (NAP) include:

  • The UK becoming the first G7 country to commit to the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) for contracts administered by a central purchasing authority, the Crown Commercial Service. This means that for the first time the whole process of awarding public sector contracts from the bidding right through to the building will be visible to the public. This is set to be in place by October 2016 and will be piloted by High-Speed Rail 2.
  • Introducing more rigorous screening, including additional conviction checks, to ensure that government contracts are not awarded to corrupt companies.
  • Creating a new Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub with the purpose of connecting social innovators, technology experts and data scientists with law enforcement and civil society to share innovative techniques and best practise in tackling corruption. The Hub will include Mexico, France, Ghana, Georgia, Switzerland, Afghanistan, UAE, Indonesia, and Norway.

Under the new rules of open contracting, data and documents from all stages of the process would need to be disclosed for transparency. The policy has been well received by international governments and aims to reduce corruption and save money as well as creating opportunities for SME’s and generating public engagement.

You can find the full list of commitments here.

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