Canada was one of the first countries to include an Open Contracting commitment in its 2014 action plan. Public works has published a pilot data set using the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) and Treasury is working on implementation of Proactive Disclosure policy but it would be great to move toward sustainable, timely, standardized open data about this important government function. It would be great if the next NAP could commit to full implementation of the OCDS (as Crown Commercial Service in the UK has done in the new UK NAP). The plan should also focus on user engagement and innovations in civic technology to ensure that this data can be used by Canadian stakeholders.
If fully and properly implemented, this means that Canada would be one of the first countries in the world providing real time, joined-up open data on its public contracting.
This opens up a world of possibilities both for better civic engagement, provision of better information on opportunities to smaller business, and better government analytics for saving money and boosting public integrity. To its great credit, the City of Montreal is also publishing open contracting data.
It would be great if the NAP also committed to cocreation of advanced and shareable analytics to better meet user needs, especially with helping smaller businesses win more contracts, and share better impact stories.