UK Left Waiting On Transparency

UK Left Waiting On Transparency

May 25, 2022
Analysis, Open data, Procurement

The UK’s latest procurement bill promises much, but many of the technical details remain to be defined. The drafting of the procurement bill matches many of the trailed promises featured in the consultation, but some of those promises, notably those around transparency remain undefined.

That’s not to say that they won’t be there, rather that they’re not yet defined or committed. There is significant detail on a wide range of notices that public bodies will have to publish (and some that are voluntary) including details of when a notice should be published, its purpose, and some guidance about what it might include.

However, the bulk of the details of exactly what must be published, where it must be published, and whether it will be available to everyone has been left to secondary legislation or guidance. The bill contains no requirement to publish notices so that anyone can read them. There is, however, a clause that allows any authority to withhold publication of notices if it deems that there is an “overriding public interest in its being withheld from publication”.

It would be churlish to suggest that this represents an attempt to resile from the Government’s commitments to transparency, it is nothing of the sort and clearly, there is more to come. But this bill cuts both ways, in that, it affords any authority the right to hide information, just as soon as it affords an authority to publish it to the world.

So transparency advocates such as ourselves must remain patient, but it is a concern that the right to hide information is provided for, whilst a commitment to transparency is not seen as a fundamental principle of Government procurement.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to talk to us about our government procurement data, our API, and our research capabilities.

Image credit: Waiting for Godot, Festival D’Avignon, 1978

June 30, 2022

Open Data & Measuring Progress

We believe all public procurement should be sustainable and open. Recently, with our partners Open Contracting and Public, we launched a new...
June 28, 2022

Blacklisting Needs Kid Gloves

In the UK’s House of Lords debate on procurement reform, there was some forthright questioning within the government on whether Bain and...
June 22, 2022

Bain’s Woes in RSA Raises Questions in Parliament

Last week in a Lords Chamber debate, Lord Peter Hain asked why Bain & Company were still able to bid for multi-million-pound...
June 22, 2022

Procurement and impact

Governments spend over 13tn USD a year with their suppliers, or around 15% of global GDP. We’ve started analysing the carbon intensity...
June 16, 2022

Australian Pandemic PPE Contracts Cause Concern.

Much of the last two years have seen governments all over the world in a purchasing panic due to the pandemic. Understandably...
June 16, 2022

Goodbye KPIs, Hello Data Quality

There’s a truth to Tom Peter’s famous quote “what gets measured, gets done”. Peters was a writer and thinker on management practice...
June 9, 2022

National Capital Authority Under Procurement Scrutiny

The National Capital Authority (NCA) was established in 1989 under the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (PALM Act) following the...
June 7, 2022

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity Begins

A group of Indo-Pacific nations has banded together to begin the process of developing an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. This framework...
May 31, 2022

Stormy Times For Meteorological Procurement

The UK government faces trial in the High Court over its award of an £854 million contract for a new Meteorological Office...
May 24, 2022

Empty Fishing Lakes.

We’ve written before about frameworks, but some improved analysis from our brilliant data team made us think it was time to revisit...
May 11, 2022

Collaborative Procurement For The Construction Industry

The Centre for Built Britain has released a white paper on Procurement Strategies for incentivising collaborative delivery, which explores how a collaborative...
May 12, 2022

MoD £2 Billion in Nuclear Contracts.

Britain's Ministry of Defence announced this week that over £2 billion worth of defence contracts have been awarded to start the third...
May 10, 2022

New Support For Canadian SME Traders.

The Government of Canada recently released its 2022 Federal Budget. Within it was an announcement of an intention to establish a Trade...
April 29, 2022

Progressive Procurement Yields Results

Last year, we shared the results of the landmark Aboriginal Procurement policy (APP), first introduced by Western Australia’s Premier, Mark MacGowan in...
June 16, 2022

Cutting Carbon Is A Procurement Issue

Just a few months ago, we shared an article on findings by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum that showed procurement...

Newsletter

Compelling research, insights and data directly into your inbox.

Recent media stories

The Times
May 30, 2022
CIPFA
August 3, 2021

Search

Scroll to Top