Public procurement is the key mechanism through which governments spend public funds. In Ukraine, this amounts to roughly 13 percent of GDP per annum – around $20 billion each year. Before recent procurement reform, an estimated $2 billion out of this amount was lost due to the lack of competition and corruption.
After Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution in 2014, a group of active citizens began working together on the ambitious task of reforming the country’s procurement system. The result was ProZorro, which means ‘transparent’ in Ukrainian.
ProZorro is an electronic open-source government procurement system created as the result of a partnership between business, government, and the civil society – or, as the team calls it, the ‘Golden triangle of cooperation’. Transparency International Ukraine (TI Ukraine), part of an international non-governmental civil society organisation, took over the coordination and further development of the procurement project.
The procurement system was designed in compliance with Open Contracting Data Standards. Highly successful, it received the World Procurement Award in 2016, was recognised as the best reform in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016, and received gold at the 2016 Open Government Awards.
TI Ukraine continues to work to make the country’s procurement process more open and efficient. To help them build on ProZorro’s progress, Luminate has invested $280,000 to develop the monitoring procurement portal DoZorro – meaning ‘watchdog’ in Ukrainian – and further promote the concept of ProZorro and DoZorro in Ukraine and internationally.
The motto of Ukraine’s progressive new procurement system is ‘Everyone Sees Everything’. True to this, every document related to public tenders in Ukraine is available to view online for free.
Since 2016, the monitoring principles developed by TI Ukraine have become obligatory for procurement processes in Ukraine. They have also pioneered a methodology for in-depth investigations into flagged tenders. In 2018, the team further innovated the procurement process by implementing AI mechanisms into DoZorro’s ‘risky tender’ search.
The motto of Ukraine’s progressive new procurement system is ‘Everyone Sees Everything’. True to this, every document related to public tenders in Ukraine is available to view online for free – with users even able to provide feedback on any deal.
TI Ukraine’s use of open-source tools makes the system highly replicable elsewhere in Ukraine and beyond. This team of active citizens is always ready to share their experience.