Procurement: Getting Cities to Buy Responsibly

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Procurement project

  • CorpWatch
  • conceived as a wiki project
  • contribute what you know about corporations
  • funding ran out - and data is sort of locked away
  • 100k corporations - buy ethical shoes, .....
  • target government procurement market
  • when governments buy they buy using codes and they do it on paper
  • product codes could be linked to product safety, organizations etc.
  • obama administration has released high-level data on usaspending.gov
  • silos of data
  • how do we help people purchase responsible
  • last year worked with SCIU to advocate for obama administration policy, need to take worker records into consideration - now allowed to do that legally - contracting officer has the right to do that. but it's hard to that - pratham wants to make it possible.
  • system to help procurement officers write better contract
  • norway owns 2% of the worlds shares. norway has an ethical department
  • help procurement officers buy more responsibly, they're allowed to, but its difficult
  • currently data is volunteered - but there's also data in OSHA's database
  • city of seattle, uses a company called buyspeed
  • but we're going to give you data
  • already a sustainable procurement leadership council (SPLC)
  • want to extend to labor/worker rights, tax avoidance,
  • first want to create a system to buy better
  • SCIU is trying to show that you can do better & best contracts
  • federal procurement law is long - how can we turn that into something usable
  • procurement officers want to know how to write better contracts
  • iraq, afghanistan etc people bought military systems badly
  • citizen audit - collects together 990s
  • Revolving door works at a more complicated level
  • Bunny Greenhouse - whistleblower - they bought badly - wants to buy better for the government
  • swiss government was able to put pressure on kenyan government - there are mini-wins
  • sasha - anti-corruption and governance work in kenya
  • lots of documents have been accidentally release and have created front-page headlines

Next step: survey of 100 procurement officers

  • what do you buy, when, how do you choose,
  • buyspeed is the most common system
  • outcome of this will be to start building something useful

Resources

  • center for american progress - think tank
  • GobLab - beth novak
  • Enigma - collects all the data on all coporations - customs etc - find truth in data
  • Book: Haliburton's Army
  • arachness - follows corruption in developing countries
    • search engine in 100 different languages to detect corruption
    • high per seat price
    • banks are main customer