New online tools to shine light on public spending

Corruption in public spending wastes taxpayers' money and erodes trust in governments. The EU-funded project DIGIWHIST aims to make public procurement more efficient and transparent with online tools that use big data and empower citizens to report abuses.

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  Benin
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  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 3 May 2018  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Czechia  |  Germany  |  Hungary  |  Italy  |  United Kingdom
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New online tools to shine light on public spending

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Every year, public bodies in the EU spend EUR 2 trillion on works, goods and services. Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. Corruption can increase the cost of government contracts by as much as 25 % and compromise widely supported public goals, such as building safe roads or quality school buildings.

DIGIWHIST is developing interactive websites, apps and software to enable wider scrutiny of public spending. This includes a database of public procurement data in Europe. The database, hosted online at opentender.eu, gathers together information from 35 EU and neighbouring countries.

The project has collected data on public procurement and accountability from the target countries. These data are linked to information on companies and public bodies to provide a clearer picture of how contracts are awarded and to whom. The information on companies that win public tenders includes financial and ownership data.

The project is also developing risk indicators and assessment tools on public procurement and legislation. These tools flag up when an organisation or individual could be awarding contracts unfairly.

The European Public Accountability Mechanisms database is hosted online at europam.eu. It measures how comprehensive a country’s legal framework is in ensuring administrative transparency and accountability. Country profiles include indicators for political financing, financial disclosure, conflict of interest restrictions, freedom of information and public procurement.

DIGIWHIST will bring benefits both at local level and across the EU. Journalists, NGOs, researchers and the media will be able to access procurement data to investigate potential misuse of public money and the context in which it is occurring.

Government officials in charge of procurement will be able to see how effective anticorruption measures are and benchmark performance against other countries. Companies will be able to check that tenders are conducted properly, giving them greater confidence in the system.

Project details

  • Project acronym: DIGIWHIST
  • Participants: United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Czechia, Italy
  • Project N°: 645852
  • Total costs: € 3 026 360
  • EU contribution: € 2 980 880
  • Duration: March 2015 to February 2018

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