Public Procurement Has A Big Problem

Public Procurement Has A Big Problem

April 7, 2022

The world has changed.

We live in a world where commerce, industry, and work are powered by data. Performance is measured and judgments on success and failure are often obvious to all.

This is not true of public procurement, which rarely measures or reports on performance.

In simple terms, Governments find it too hard to accurately report on the effectiveness of their contracts. In all of our work around the world, we’ve been unable to find a government that has successfully implemented a programme to routinely report on the performance of their contracts.

This is no surprise. No department wants the share details of a contract that failed to deliver on outcomes, no one wants to share how much contracts change during their lifetime, of price increases or cost overruns.

But this reticence comes at a price. If we fail to understand what led to a contract failure, we can’t prevent the same mistake from happening in the future. In short, how can contracting improve if we’re not willing to be honest about its failures?

We gather more contracting data than anyone else on the planet. We enhance it and augment this data to make it ready for analysis. We’re using AI to spot patterns that humans can’t find and some of those patterns are beginning to show us what a bad contract looks like before it fails, sometimes it’s the specification, sometimes it’s the supplier, sometimes it’s the buyer. Even with limited data, we can start to see the patterns.

We think that data can change the $13tn public procurement market, creating new feedback loops and new insights. The question is, will government seize the opportunity to improve contracting?

Get in touch to discuss our government procurement data, our api or our research capabilities.

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