Transparency International Kenya joined Open Contracting Partnership and Transparency International-UK, to organise a training of journalists and CSO representatives on Open Contracting and Procurement Transparency, during Covid-19 pandemic. The training explored how to spot corruption red flags in public contracts and where to find information related to the different stages of the procurement process.
During the 2 hour period held on 12 June 2020, participants drawn from different nations across Africa, also learnt how to identify sources of Open Contracting Data Standards (OCDS) for their countries and regions. The Action for Transparency project brought together 20 journalists who took part in this engagement, necessary for investigative journalism.
It is estimated that governments across the world spend US$9.5 trillion of tax money every year procuring everything from hospitals and bridges to pencils and brooms, this is why open contracting is important, and the need to empower communities like journalists to investigate procurement transparency.
In Kenya’s 2020/2021 budget, the National Treasury intends to spend KShs. 2.79 trillion, translating to 24.7% of the GDP. The Budget projections have grown year after year, with the 2020/21 financial year having a special focus on increasing liquidity to save the economy from the effects of Covid-19. Billions more have been set aside for various projects in response to Covid-19, thereby pronouncing the importance of open contracting.
With this training, journalists can be able to follow up the over Kshs. 1.89 Billion in cash and kind donated in Kenya to support addressing the Corona Virus pandemic. Proper planning to ensure Open Contracting Data Standards must be followed in utilisation of this aid, to collusion, avoid price fixing or corruption in general.
The participants were also given additional resources and links to help them find financial data. Below are a few pointers and links that can support this endeavour.
- National portals
- Debarred companies: World Bank, AfDB, ADB, AIIB
- International Finance Institutions: contract awards World Bank, UN Global Marketplace, UN Procurement & Annual Statistical Report, UN Development Business, AfDB, ADB, AIIB
- Extractives Industries: 40+ countries disclosing contract information here including the UK (see here)
- Others: Panama Papers or Offshore leaks database by ICIJ
“It was an enlightening session” – Journalist.
We empower citizens and government employees to act on corruption experienced in their everyday lives. Using a mobile phone with Internet access, anyone is able to check the amount of government money pledged to each school and health clinic – and the amount actually spent. By exposing which institutions and individuals are involved in corruption and providing the data to journalists and activist groups, we hope we can make corruption less attractive. Follow us to learn more.