Over 150 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government have failed an open contracting assessment in the last one year, LEADERSHIP can report.
About 213 MDAs of the federal government were examined by Public and Private Development Centre on their compliance to the Freedom of Information (FoI) on open contracting but 150 failed.
Also, in the last one year, seven states, Kogi, Anambra, Ekiti, Adamawa, Imo, Kaduna, Abia, were supported through State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) by the organisation and they are now doing well in open contracting.
The report which is aimed at encouraging government establishment on open contracting, published in the Public and Private Development Centre website showed that 150 MDAs failed the 2020 assessment because they didn’t meet up to the necessary requirements.
Responding to LEADERSHIP inquiry, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) Nkem Ilo, said open contracting can help produce a more transparent and accountable government, as well as encourage synergy between the government and citizens.
She urged MDAs and the state governments to be open in carrying out their businesses.”Currently, we are not providing direct awards on Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) beyond the awards we give under our annual Freedom of Information (FOI) act compliance and transparency rankings.
“However, the World Bank’s SFTAS, programme has provided a huge financial incentives for states across different Disbursment Linked Indicators (DLIs) of which OCDS is amongst them,” she said.
“Over the years PPDC has played a major role in promoting transparency through the procurement processes by utilising various means such as activism and campaigns, online and offline while also utilising its civic tech platform, Budeshi. Budeshi is a platform that seeks to promote transparency and accountability by publishing information on contracts obtained via freedom of information requests from MDAs.
“The information on the platform is typically detailed and includes budgeted and paid out amounts, contractors, and location if available. Since its start in 2016, the platform has published over 2500 contract details, seeing the need to improve disclosure practice at the state level as well, PPDC has also supported the state government in implementing open contracting frameworks compliant with the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS). PPDC has supported states such as Kaduna, Ekiti, Anambra, and Adamawa.
“Another important project which PPDC has used to drive open contracting is the Freedom of Information Rankings. PPDC designed a ranking system that rewards and celebrates compliant MDAs.
The MDAs are ranked based on the proactive disclosure of information, the responsiveness to requests, and the level of disclosure. The rankings have improved the level of disclosure practices amongst MDAs,” she added.