Procurement data service increasing transparency significantly

Government organisations use almost six billion euros a year for various procurements. Whatever they procure and where they procure it from is information that is open to all. A major step was taken towards better transparency and openness when Hansel launched, and continues to maintain, a governmental procurement data service for agency employees in October 2016. This service is part of the project for digitalisation of government procurement.

The procurement data service collects information about governmental procurements into a single channel, from which it can be viewed easily and in real time. The free service was made available in its first stage to procurement experts and management in organisations within the state budget system. The active work to launch the system took about six months.

“What is new about the service is that funds used for state procurement can be followed from a single address and almost in real time. Previously anyone interested in state organisations’ procurement details had to request information directly from individual agencies, which in turn had collected their data from a variety of sources. The procurement data service contain information in a dynamic format that encourages analysis,” says Kirsi Koivusaari, Hansel’s Chief Financial Officer.

The procurement data service collects information from several sources: Rondo purchase invoices, State Treasury’s Netra reporting service and Hansel’s central procurement reports. The service makes it easier to analyse and plan procurements and to compare procurement data between agencies.

Making procurement data available has already affected the way Hansel customers operate.

“Once our customers have been able to view procurement data, they have discovered certain aspects available through a framework agreement and have gone over to using them instead of organising their own competitive tendering. Centralised procurement has become more common. The procurement units can also see how government funds are used,” says Kirsi Koivusaari.

There are plans to include more information into the government procurement data service from, for example, the travel management system M2, and Kieku, the state administration’s electronic finance and personnel solution. Customers have also requested more detailed data, and Hansel is currently looking into ways of categorising data more accurately.

First steps already taken towards a citizens’ portal

The procurement data service was warmly welcomed by the Ministry of Finance, and as a result, the service was developed further. There are plans to make procurement data available to citizens and companies within 2017. The citizen’s portal will increase government administration openness, because it will make the use of state funds much more transparent.

The procurement data service is part of the Handi project concerned with the digitalisation of procurements.