Mythbusting Confidentiality in Public Contracting

One in every three dollars that a government spends is on a contract with a company to deliver goods, works, and services to citizens.

There is growing evidence that transparency and openness around this spending can help improve the competitiveness, integrity and efficiency of the contracting process. This disclosure is not simply “transparency for transparency’s sake” but contains useable, actionable information that government itself would benefit from and that business and civic actors can also use if open channels for feedback exist.

Not everyone agrees. Concern around the confidentiality of information in the contracts themselves is arguably one of the greatest barriers to more openness. Apprehension over what is and is not confidential creates inertia. It hinders experimentation in how best to engage business and civil society in the contracting process and how to share information about the process in more user-friendly and accessible ways.

This report seeks to unpack and, where possible, unpick those concerns.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Guidelines, instruction manuals, handbooks
Language of document
  • English
Topics Anti-corruption
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Global
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) - The content of this research may be reproduced and distributed for non-commercial purposes, if (organization/individual) is notified and the authors are acknowledged as the source.

Version / Edition 1.0
License Creative Commons Attribution



Author (individual) Cindy Kroon & Alice Garland
Author (corporate) Open Contracting Partnership
Publication place Washington
Publisher Open Contracting Partnership
Publication date 2018
Pagination 73
Keywords Procurement phases,Confidential information,Legal practise in information disclosure,Case study,Open contracting,Open Contracting Partnership
Date uploaded June 30, 2020, 06:37 (UTC)
Date modified July 2, 2020, 05:55 (UTC)