Procurement and contracts
Publishing procurement award data helps make procurement processes more transparent and clarifies government decision-making. Wherever possible, procurement award information should be reviewed for proactive release. In fact, the OPS Procurement Directive requires ministries to post contract award notifications for competitive procurement processes valued at $25,000 or more for goods and $100,000 or more for services.
In support of open data, the Ontario Government publishes various procurement datasets on Ontario’s Open Government Catalogue including but not limited to:
- enterprise-wide VOR arrangements planned for the next three years by Supply Chain Ontario (SCO)
- enterprise-wide VOR arrangements
Data as output of procurement contracts
The Open Data Directive has requirements for all procurement awards.
The Request for Bids Terms and Conditions template posted on the Supply Chain Ontario Tools and Template webpage under "Procurement Documents" includes a clause that informs vendors that your ministry may publish specific procurement award data collected from vendor(s).
Ministries not using the Request for Bids template are required to work with their procurement and legal teams to develop and include necessary clauses in new contract agreements that will permit government to publish data collected.
Ministries must consult their Open Government Lead, Privacy Coordinator and legal team when considering a potential exemption to disclosing a procurement record.
Data and transfer payments
With respect to transfer payments (TP), ministries and provincial agencies are subject to the requirements outlined in the Transfer Payment Accountability Directive. The scope of the ODD does not extend to transfer payment recipients, and as such they are not required to publish data produced as a result of transfer payment funding.
However, ministries and provincial agencies are required to have a legal agreement in place with each TP recipient that includes a requirement for recipients to report on the progress towards implementing performance measures and achieving the outputs and/or outcomes of the activity. The government may publish any data that is collected through oversight, monitoring and reporting, including reporting on performance measures that are set out in the TP agreement for ongoing and time-limited TPs.
The directive has implications for I&IT solutions and processes, including procurement and internal builds. Program areas should work with their I&IT cluster and/or procurement advisors to ensure:
- Any new I&IT data management platforms/solutions/applications, whether a new build or the purchase of an off-the-shelf product, are designed to allow for the extraction of data in an open format, making it easier to publish and regularly maintain data in the Data catalogue.
- The architecture review process confirms that open data requirements are included in any solution, such that any data your system manages could be easily extracted in an Open Format to publish in the Data catalogue.
- I&IT solutions require proactive consideration of privacy protection throughout the lifecyle of the data. For more details, see the Corporate Policy on the Protection of Personal Information.
Best practices for extracting data include:
- Providing a linked, rich API over HTTPS in an open format through an API, and publishing the URL to the API in the Data catalogue. The URL should use https to ensure the privacy of the user.
- Providing a real-time or snapshot view of a particular dataset at a URL.
- A periodic, automatic report that produces an open format suitable for upload to the Data catalogue.