Open Government and Public Spending @ PDF CEE 2018 gathered in Gdańsk main stakeholders in the e-procurement environment to discuss the potential of open data, user-friendly tools and engaged community in implementing open contracting standards across Central-and-Eastern European countries.

On April 25, 2018 over 150 public contracting stakeholders: open government CSO community, representatives of Polish and European municipalities as well as e-procurement system implementers met in Gdańsk to discuss the challenges of introducing e-procurement reforms and digital governance in public procurement on the local and central level. Ms Eliza Niewiadomska from European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Mr Krzysztof Izdebski from ePaństwo Foundation hosted the event as organizers. The workshop was organized in cooperation with the City of Gdańsk and under the patronage of the Ministry of Digitalization.

The formula of the meeting included expert presentations, discussion panels and practical workshops. The first part of the event was devoted to presenting experiences related with implementation of open contracting and openness policies in public offices in Poland, analyzing study cases from around the world and embedding the idea of open data in the legal environment. Two discussion panels gave the audience a chance to find out about the achievements of several institutions in Poland, Ukraine and Italy in the field of implementing open data into the public procurement system and learn about the tools and platforms tested across Europe which proved beneficial to lowering administration costs, easing access to markets, lowering time for participation, helping to establish new connections, increasing quality of business decisions and processes and red-flagging corruption risks in public procurement. Additionally, the event’s special guest Ms Inguna Kramina from the European Commission assured the EC is willing to work with the Member States on improving transparency and quality of national procurement systems through better data.

Two workshop sessions targeted at public administration representatives and international CSOs served as a platform of discussing practical tools and gave space for placing them in the local contexts represented by the participants. The analyzed study cases exhibited the specificity of the implemented approaches to reforming public procurement processes. The closing session summarized the outcomes of the event and a memorandum was addressed to participants representing public entities and NGO activists who can influence municipalities and other public entities in their localities to support implementation of open data into public spending process with the aim to build public procurement tools based on open contracting data standards.