Feature Briefing

Open contracting for health services

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4046 (Published 25 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4046
  1. Andrew Jack, editor, firstFT
  1. Financial Times, London, UK
  1. Andrew.jack{at}ft.com

More transparency could reduce corruption and get better value for money explains Andrew Jack

What is open contracting?

How much of the huge amount spent worldwide every year on health commodities and services actually reaches patients? Procurement and contracting are highly vulnerable to corruption. “Open contracting” aims to make the processes used to purchase government goods and services transparent by publishing the details of contracts online. These can be easily accessed and analysed by the public, private sectors, and civil society. Backers of the approach say that it makes purchases more efficient and fair by boosting competition and accountability and reducing the scope for corruption. It can also help to demonstrate good practices to countries with less experience.

How big a problem is corruption?

Open Contracting, a US non-profit group that advocates for and advises on the approach, estimates that around …

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