Changing the landscape of public contracting very often needs strong government champions. However, Bojonegoro, a lesser-known and small sub-district in East Java province in Indonesia, was selected by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as one of the fifteen regions in the world to become a pilot area because of its high commitment to creating an open government since 2008.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international initiative based on the principles of transparency, accountability, community participation and the use of technology to promote responsive, clean, effective and efficient governance. These principles become a reference for member countries in implementing their own policies.
Upon being selected as the subnational pilot for Open Government Partnership, Bojonegoro established local regulations on transparency in procurement and public data. Then in early 2017, Bojonegoro Institute partnered with Hivos in advocating our Open Contracting programme in Bojonegoro. Hivos’ specific approach on empowering local CSOs and community groups to read and reuse public contracting data is particularly suited to the current policy in East Java province.
Ten months later, a collaboration between Bojonegoro Institute and the local government launched the Bojonegoro Open System (BOS), the first version of the government open contracting platform which will serve as an online information centre. It covers the whole process of public procurement, from vendor selection to quality control when receiving goods and services, including the auditing process. This platform encourages the local community to follow and provide feedback on these processes.
During a public hearing facilitated by Hivos Southeast Asia and Bojonegoro Institute on 24 January 2018 in Jakarta, the head of Bojonegoro Sub-district, Mr Suyoto, confirmed that Bojonegoro will continue to strengthen the open contracting policies of his administration area through the Bojonegoro Open System (BOS). Mr Suyoto further underlined the importance of transparency in Bojonegoro government by exposing budget management and opening up channels for complaints for the community.
‘Up to now, seventy four (74) government agencies have registered and begun filling the platform with contracting data,’ said Muhammad Ilham Saenong, Hivos Southeast Asia Project Development Manager for the Open Contracting Programme. “This platform potentially changes the way they restore the data, from manual to online and paperless. It is also complementary to the LPSE (government procurement portal system) that is only dedicated for competitive bidding.”
Aside from the platform, Bojonegoro Institute’s data induction training sessions are helping public officials to publish data and documents from all stages of procurement, from the planning stage, budgeting, auction/tender through to the final reporting stage. They have also facilitated discussion with the LKPP (National Procurement Agency) to enable data exchange for internal use.
‘We hope that this platform can be a good example and will be imitated by other provinces in Indonesia,’ said Joko Purwanto, Chief Board of Bojonegoro Institute. ‘Our final objective is that by 2020, we will have an integrated system for all public contracting and data, not limited to procurements only, so the local community can submit all their complaints, suggestions, questions and track any process on this platform.’