Global Analysis: Less Is Less

Global Analysis: Less Is Less

January 3, 2023
Frameworks, Government, Open data, Procurement

Analysing 7.5 million tender documents published by governments around the world has revealed a worrying trend of publishers providing less data for potential bidders. On average, the number of tender notices that have descriptions with fewer than 250 characters has increased from 31% in 2019 to 45% in 2022.

This trend of using shorter descriptions in tender notices is concerning because it makes it harder for potential bidders to understand the scope and requirements of a tender. This can lead to a situation where only a small number of bidders are able to submit proposals, which limits competition and potentially results in higher prices for the goods or services being procured.

Some nations have more of an issue than others. For example in Afghanistan, the percentage of tender notices with short descriptions increased from 11.45% in 2019 to 31.25% in 2022. In Albania, the percentage increased from 44.85% in 2019 to 66.87% in 2022. In Angola, the percentage increased from 51.11% in 2019 to 71.84% in 2022.

One way to address this issue and promote a more competitive bidding process is for governments to provide clearer and more detailed descriptions in tender notices. This will help potential bidders understand the scope and requirements of the tender and make informed decisions about whether to submit a proposal. It will also help ensure that the procuring body receives a greater number of bids, which can lead to better outcomes for citizens.

In order to provide clearer tender notices, governments can make better use of data in the tender process. This could include using standardised templates or incorporating data from previous tenders to provide more detailed and accurate information for potential bidders. By adopting these processes, governments can help promote more competition and better outcomes in the procurement process.

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