Advocate and Coordinator for Open Contracting in Canada
The Open Contracting Partnership is seeking a brilliant consultant based in Canada to help advance open contracting in the country. The consultant’s main responsibilities will be to:
Generate buy-in and energy for the open contracting agenda across key government agencies and stakeholder groups; and
Support the implementation of open contracting at the national level and where possible at other levels of government.
The OCP is a silo-busting collaboration of governments, companies, technologists and civil society that works to open up public contracting through disclosure, data and engagement so that the huge sums of money involved are spent honestly, fairly, and effectively.
Activities The consultant will:
Provide focused advocacy support to the OCP to:
Secure a robust commitment to open contracting in Canada's Open Government Partnership National Action Plan for 2018-2020.
Promote the use of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) as part of the single-point of access required by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Encourage vendors of procurement systems with public sector customers in Canada to implement the Open Contracting Data Standard.
Help articulate a strategy to transform public procurement through the adoption and implementation of open contracting at all levels of government in Canada. This will involve outreach and communication with key public, private and civil society actors and building a broad support coalition for open contracting that can generate momentum and buy-in.
Explore opportunities to promote the use of contracting data at all levels of government in Canada. This might involve the organization of hackathons or challenges, the piloting of local monitoring and feedback loops, or the development or improvement of participatory tools that can be used by stakeholders.
These tasks will involve chasing down and influencing key decision makers, explaining the OCP's value proposition to different stakeholders, and explaining technical items like OCDS in accessible language.
In support of the above, the consultant will: periodically draft articles, plans and reports; provide short written updates after key meetings; and have periodic calls with the OCP.
Qualifications The required skills for this position are:
Good knowledge of public procurement and understanding of open data.
Excellent project management skills. Proactive outreach and follow up are key to this position.
Experience in building diverse coalitions, navigating politics and articulating advocacy agendas.
Excellent communication skills, written and oral, in English.
Desirable skills for this position are:
Excellent communication skills, written and oral, in French.
Track record of organizing interactive workshops and events.
Timeline & Remuneration Initially this is expected to be a 4 month consultancy with the possibility of a longer term extension based on performance. We estimate that about 20 days are needed over the 4 months for the above described tasks. The consultant is expected to dedicate on average 5 days of work per month to this engagement, but this might increase depending on needs and availability.
Remuneration will be based on experience and qualifications.
Background and History The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from over 80 national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
In 2014, in its second National Action Plan (NAP) for the OGP, Canada committed to “Pilot the Open Contracting Data Standard – 0.3.3 on the BuyandSell.gc.ca website for federal contracts,” to which it provided an update in its End-of-term Self-assessment Report in 2016.
In 2016, in its third NAP, Canada committed to “participate in a case study to share best practices from Public Service and Procurement Canada’s pilot of the Open Contracting Data Standard on BuyandSell.gc.ca,” to which it provided an important update in its Mid-term Self-assessment Report.
In September 2017, Canada agreed to take on the role of lead government co-chair of the OGP for 2018-19, as well as supporting government co-chair for 2017-18. Canada is now in the process of drafting its fourth NAP, to be finalized in June 2018. A Multi-stakeholder forum, composed of eight civil society representatives and four public servants, was recently created to inform/lead this process.
Also in September 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union entered into force. CETA “requires the establishment of a free single-point of access for all notices of new procurements” by 2022 – which applies to notices from federal, provincial and territorial governments with values above a given threshold.
Separately, in 2016, The Province of Ontario joined the OGP and authored a first action plan. Other provinces have shown interest in increasing the transparency of contracting processes.