Open Contracting: a new frontier for information disclosure in public procurement

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This study was prompted by the fact that no research study focused on the application of the Open Contracting principle of disclosure in South African public procurement. The main issue examined in this study pertained to the application of the disclosure principle of Open Contracting in the South African public procurement system. The study population included members of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain (CIPS) employed in the South African public service. This research study used applied, exploratory and non-experimental research in conjunction with descriptive and inferential statistics. The measuring instrument designed for this study included an online survey containing a structured, close-ended questionnaire that measured the disclosure aspect covered in an in-depth literature study. With regard to the results obtained from this study, it is evident that the respondents indicated that there are opportunities to adopt the disclosure principle within South African public procurement. This study provides definite guidelines to procurement practitioners and policy makers concerning the application of proactively disclosing information at the different stages of government procurement. Disclosure in public procurement is rapidly changing and the South African public sector should keep abreast of such changes (e.g., the use of Open Contracting) to ensure that its procurement system is suitably equipped to deliver better deals, minimize fraud and corruption, ensure high quality of performance and a fairer business environment.

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    • Fig. 1. Application of Open Contracting principles
    • Fig. 2. Ten lowest scores for disclosure
    • Fig. 3. Ten highest scores for disclosure
    • Table 1. Theoretical framework for disclosure in South African public procurement
    • Table 2. Questionnaire structure
    • Table 3. Demographic profile of respondents
    • Table 4. Cronbach’s alpha range