We are a collaboration of non-government organisations and professionals working to ensure that government spending is done fairly, openly, efficiently, and creates the best value for money and best outcomes for Europe.
We are working at the national and EU levels to advance the principles of openness in spending of funds, procurement, and company ownership within the EU.
Disclosure requirements on the spending of EU funds are inadequate. This means that it is impossible to follow and monitor exactly how EU funds are being spent and who are the ultimate beneficiaries.
We push for full transparency on the spending of EU funds to allow for multi-stakeholder monitoring, currently prioritising the transparency of the Recovery and Resilience Facility fund. We urge Member States to release complete and open data on recipients of the EU funds so that civil society and investigative journalists have sufficient information to monitor spending.
The format and accessibility of public procurement data varies greatly across Europe. When data is provided, there are often problems with the structure and verification, which greatly hampers monitoring and analysis.
We advocate for user-friendly, accessible information across the entire procurement process by European governments from the planning, to the tender and award of contracts, to their delivery. We want governments to plan and deliver contracts involving relevant stakeholders throughout the process so that the best outcomes can be designed into public contracting from the start. We want procurement processes to be simple and user-friendly so that smaller businesses and entrepreneurs have a level playing field to compete.
There is a lack of transparency in both beneficial and company ownership data across the EU. This severely impedes proper due diligence of suppliers that win public contracts, therefore creating an environment where corruption can fester.
We are pushing for full, open and free access to all company registration data, including beneficial ownership and company ownership registers within the EU. Making available information on the economic operators applying for contracts, allows for proper oversight and holds those making decisions accountable. It is essential not only to push for open company ownership data, but to create a procurement system that integrates this data and uses it to carry out proper due diligence on suppliers.
Procurement as a high-value dataset under the Open Data Directive: Public procurement should be considered as a high-value dataset in Annex 1 of the Open Data Directive.
EU wide implementation of Open Contracting Data Standards: all Member States should publish their public procurement data using the OCDS to ensure the release of timely, publically accessible information across the entire cycle of the procurement process - from planning to implementation of contracts. The Publications Office of the European Union should also publish public procurement data on Europe’s Tenders Electronic Daily in OCDS.
More transparency on below-the-threshold procurement across the EU: The EU should require that there is more transparency of all national-level procurement, including that below EU and national thresholds.
Public Exclusion Lists : The list of economic operators excluded from public procurement at the national level should be made public. Exclusion lists should be interoperable with company ownership registers.
Proactive publication of information on national level spending of EU funds: There should be mandatory proactive publication of information on spending, implementation and control of EU funds at national level. This should include:
Information on final recipients of funds including data on contractor and sub-contractors and their beneficial owners;
All public procurement contracts that are funded by EU funds, covering the whole process from planning to implementation;
All grant and loan agreements;
Reports on implementation, monitoring and control to prevent corruption, this should at least include audit reports and reports submitted to the European Commission;
Information on public consultations held with citizens and stakeholders on the planning and spending of EU funds.
All Member States should create an interoperable public portal where information on spending, implementation and control of EU funds spending is proactively published in open data and interoperable with other public datasets.
Compulsory use of European Commission data-mining tool: All Member States should use the data-mining tool ARACHNE, which should be interoperable with other public datasets.
Stronger transparency requirements within the regulations of future EU funds: Future regulations governing EU funds should include strong transparency requirements to ensure proactive publication of spending.
Full publication of company ownership information under the Open Data Directive: The Implementing Act on high-value datasets under the Open Data Directive should require full and free publication of companies and company ownership information, under a genuinely open licence without additional restrictions.
Full publication of beneficial ownership registers under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive: All Member States should comply with their obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and establish centralised, publicly accessible beneficial ownership registers for companies as soon as possible.