Application Public Procurement — My Country
On the one hand, the application allows you to search the database of public procurement in order to find a correct offer. On the other hand, it enables you to see which entities receive the largest contracts in Poland. We may find there all the orders from the Public Procurement Office. Each of the data described above you can add to your collection and receive related notifications.
How did you go about liberating the data and deciding on how to present it?
Data for public tenders in Poland are relatively easy to get. We have a centralized office which runs an up-to-date database of every public procurement — above a certain financial level. Data can be downloaded in the XML format. The problem with an official database is that it’s hard to search and aggregate interesting data. We thought that it would be interesting to improve it by providing a modern user interface, search mechanisms and meaningful statistics.
What is the use case you were thinking about when designing the platform?
He have two use cases for the app. The first one is to enable companies and individuals to search public procurement for their business purposes. The second use case is for NGOs and activists to monitor authors and receivers of the most valuable or most critical procurements and their conditions.
What has been initial feedback by government and other civil society groups?
Unfortunately, we have not received feedback from the government. However, the application is used by activists and non-governmental organizations and helps them keep track of the activities of state institutions.
How does this fit into the wider strategy of your work?
Our mission is to provide citizens with knowledge about their country. Data for public procurements are very important part of this knowledge. They say a lot about governance, because they create an image of the money flow in the country. For many citizens this knowledge is far more meaningful than various political issues. We think the successful app for browsing public procurements would be a kind of a “Holy Grail” for the Open Data movement. On the one hand, it utilizes public data, enabling citizens to monitor government bodies in the very important and attractive field: public money flow. On the other hand, data can be really useful for users in terms of their business needs.
My Country platform maintained by ePF Foundation which is the biggest source of open data in Poland.