Providing the state and communities with everything they need is a complex multistep process that requires a lot of money, time, and professional staff. Procurement can take place under different procedures. However, it usually ends in the same way — the conclusion of a contract and the fulfillment of obligations under it.

Data on procurement and contracts at the expense of the budget are submitted by procuring entities to three independent systems:

  • Prozorro;
  • Spending;
  • Treasury Client — Treasury.

Moreover, almost the same information is filled in in each system.

The DOZORRO team of TI Ukraine studied how procuring entities now report under contracts, payment for which is made at the expense of the state and local budgets.

Duplication and losses

Data on procurement and contracts at the expense of the budget are now submitted by procuring entities to three independent systems — Prozorro, Spending, TCT (Treasury Client — Treasury). As a result, information is often duplicated:

  • In Prozorro and Spending, there are at least 50 machine-readable fields that are comparable in content and are filled in in both systems independently of each other.
  • The data submitted to TCT also have many fields in common with the other two systems, but most of them are not machine-readable. In fact, they are duplicated when submitted to Spending.

Such duplication costs the state at least 1.2 million unnecessary (which could be saved) working hours per year, which is equivalent to more than UAH 30 million.

Unusable data

At the same time, the data collected in these systems, which are available in open data format, do not reflect the real situation under the contracts and are not suitable for high-quality use.

In fact, even the most important contract information (contract amount, amount paid, and supplier) is often filled in incorrectly on Prozorro and Spending. Therefore, it cannot be applied anywhere else — it is impossible to fully analyze how contracts are generally implemented in public procurement, what problems may arise.

This means that the current reporting system does not provide the required data quality and validity. At the same time, each of these systems requires procuring entities to fill in their unique set of contract fields that are not technically related between the systems. Due to this, data exchange is currently not possible.

Accordingly, there is no consolidated contract information in one source. Now, in order to know all the possible information about the contract, it is necessary to collect and consolidate data from the three systems and interpret them. Even if the data in all three systems are filled in completely and correctly, some of them, such as the specification of the certificate (what the procuring entity eventually purchased and received, in what quantity, and at what price), have, in fact, a machine-readable format only in Spending.

This situation is inconvenient both for procuring entities — who fill in and collect the data, and for decision-making, supervisory, and monitoring bodies — who use these data.

So, reporting, as it is now, in three systems, causes several problems:

  • overspending of time;
  • budget overspending;
  • complexity of integration of many extensive systems;
  • unsuitability of the collected data for analysis.

Single system

Solving all these problems is possible if a single system is created so that the data:

  • are filled in only in it;
  • are stored only in it;
  • are validated;
  • are standardized and have a single interpretation;
  • are open and accessible;
  • needn’t be re-entered if they were already entered;
  • on the contract are linked to previous/subsequent stages.

Why hasn’t it been created yet?

First of all, a certain institution must undertake to create it. It takes time and resources.

At the same time, this institution and system will be obliged to consider the interests of various stakeholders, in particular, those who now collect these data on their portals.

However, even if a single system is created, it may not be easy to administer. Sufficient resources and time must be invested in the task of verifying and correcting data.

It is also necessary to provide for the distribution of duties and responsibilities for filling in and checking the data in the institutions of procuring entities.

However, these challenges can and should be addressed, as the creation of a system will help:

  1. save budget funds and time for contract reporting and administration of state data accounting systems;
  2. effectively use human resources potential;
  3. improve the quality of the decisions made on the basis of data;
  4. increase the possibilities of monitoring the current situation in public procurement and public finances;
  5. create an enabling environment for the improvement and development of new services in these areas.

This publication was prepared with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Transparency International Ukraine and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.