Publish full government contracts by default

Government spend our money on contracts and we should be able to scrutinise the terms of the contracts, once signed.

During contract negotiation, there is clearly a need to maintain commercia confidentiality. However, once the contract is signed, there is no valid reason to withhold the document.

Current practice is to interpret section 9 of the Official Information Act to automatically withhold such documents. 

The proposal is that as a default, contracts should be published in full, with no information being withheld.

 

Why the contribution is important

This trasparency enables us to inspect government decision-making and understand the nature of the contractual arrangements being entered into on behalf of the people of New Zealand.

The transparency is expected to lead to better economic outcomes, by improving the availability of full information to all parties in the marketplace, and also to improve the quality of decision making by increased oversight by the public.

It is also possible that the data contained in the contracts can be used as Open Data to create additional value, although this concept would need further development to identify what possible uses could be made by the data science community.

by LaurenceMillar on August 16, 2016 at 05:57PM

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