Corruption in public procurement and contracting manifests itself in unnecessary projects, substandard and unnecessarily expensive work, the diversion of resources, and unjustified or unexpected price increases resulting into inequity and inequality. In the absence of appropriate accountability mechanisms in this strategic area, ghost projects will be funded, poor quality roads, schools and hospitals will be built, while essential medicines and services will not be delivered.
Access to Information legal framework is recognised to advance disclosure of procurement data and an enabler of public participation which are two components of the open contracting approach. In the other way around, open contracting movement and initiatives have triggered more reflection around access to information and push for adoption and implementation of the access to information legal framework. This close relationship between open contracting and access to information, has been reflected in the strategy and work of AFIC membership.
Since 2011 AFIC has worked with public, private and civil society actors in Africa promoting the enhancement of disclosure (access to information) and citizen participation in all stages of public contracting with the ultimate objective of increasing value for money in public contracts. During AFIC’s 2016 General Assembly, a strategic decision to set up a Working Group (WG) on open contracting was made. The goal of the working group is to provide the leadership, coordination, conceptual and technical skills to review the current architecture of the open contracting agenda across Africa.