Transparency of Public Procurement
The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of State in charge of digital issues commit to strengthen transparency of public procurement and will help public services achieve their digital transition. France is also chairing the “Contracting five” initiative [OGP 2].
This commitment is specific because it targets a concrete and sufficiently narrow policy instrument: public procurement. The commitment also states that it is connected to commitment 2 in the French OGP Action Plan 2018-2020, “Increasing transparency in public procurement”. 
 OGP, France National Action Plan 2018-2020, pp.9-10, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf
The commitment identifies three indefinite actions. However, through further research, corresponding actions can be identified for commitment 2 in the roadmap details of the French OGP Action Plan.
 OGP, France National Action Plan 2018-2020, p.10, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf
This commitment is part of the broader objectives of the French administration regarding digital transition. In 2019, the government launched the TECH.GOUV programme, which aims to accelerate the digital transformation of public services. Based on commitment 2 of the French OGP Action Plan 2018-2020, the following actions were promised:
|4.1 Strengthening the transparency of public procurement.
a) a) Designing a “single flow” of procurement contract data and making it available on data.gouv.fr.
The “single flow” was finalised and published in October 2018 and is being piloted by the General Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Ministries. In 2020, the Economic Observatory for Public Procurements (OECP), recorded 169,000 public procurements, amounting to €111 billion. The data is published on data.gouv.fr, in two datasets, one representing “identified public contracts” from 2013 to 2018 and the other, public procurements since May 2019.
|b) Working on the scope of data incorporated into the “contract flow” to go beyond the “essential data” provided for by the Decree.||Partly fulfilled
The French Ministry of Economy and Finances published a website with more than 300,000 sets of “essential data” in June 2021. The aggregation work has been carried out over several years, but is still incomplete, due to technical difficulties and the complexity of gathering all the data from several publishers on a single platform. However, the process is underway, involving stakeholder groups (buyers, companies, publishers) as part of the Digital Transformation Plan for Public Procurement (action 16), and should be finalised by the end of 2022.
|c) Developing and implementing innovative uses of public procurement data at public procurement observatories in the two “testing grounds”: Brittany and Occitania.||Fulfilled
Public procurement observatories are online platforms with data on public procurement at the local level. Regional public procurement observatories aim to gather several public actors to raise their awareness of their roles and responsibilities. The observatories also consolidate data and build monitoring indicators. This action is completed. The Occitanie region has created a platform for accessing public contracts: http://scope-occitanie.mystrikingly.com/. The Brittany region is developing a tool based on 50 indicators to manage its purchasing policy, which will soon be available to the public via https://data.bretagne.bzh/.
|d) Disseminating these practices across other territories: involvement of other territories in experiments underway and publication of their data in the same format.||Partly fulfilled
Other territories have been made aware of the subject via several events involving territorial public procurement observatories, for instance, the Hauts de France region, although no data is available online. The department of Essonne (91) is also on its way to building an observatory. The region Bourgogne-France Comte has its own open data website, https://ideo.ternum-bfc.fr/, with all data and analysis on public procurement.
|4.2 Achieving the digital transition of public services: “Developing a policy ensuring support for and training of those involved in the digital transformation of public procurement”.
There is no public evidence available on progress in developing the policy.
|4.3 Chairing the “Contracting five” initiative to promote transparency in public procurement at the international level.
a) “Disseminating standards among the international community via Contracting 5.”
b) “Incorporating more countries into Contracting 5 and promoting the use of international standards in those countries.”
France no longer participates in the work of Contracting 5 and the commitment was dropped.
Overall, this commitment is considered partially fulfilled.
|Challenges to effective commitment implementation|
|The main challenge is the lack of technical and human resources within the state administration to implement this commitment. More specifically, there are still efforts to make open data on public commitments available in a more readable and aggregated format. There are also significant disparities across regions regarding digitalisation of public services.
|Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation|
|Now that a complete “single flow” register exists, the next steps are to ensure compliance with the law through more checks and sanctions. The €1 billion spending on the state digital transition within the 2021 French Recovery Plan is a significant opportunity for accelerating commitment implementation.
 French Republic, TECH.GOUV: Strategy and roadmap 2019-2022 – updated edition mid-2021, https://www.numerique.gouv.fr/publications/tech-gouv-strategie-et-feuille-de-route-2019-2021
 OGP, France National Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/France-Action-Plan-2018-2020-English.pdf
 French Republic, Concluded public contracts listed on the state procurement platform, https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/datasets/marches-publics-conclus-recenses-sur-la-plateforme-des-achats-de-letat/
 French Republic, Essential public procurement data, https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/datasets/donnees-essentielles-de-la-commande-publique-fichiers-consolides/#description
 Ministry of Economy and Finance (France), Essential public procurement data – enriched data, https://data.economie.gouv.fr/explore/dataset/decp_augmente/table/
 French Republic, Digital transformation plan for public procurement, https://www.economie.gouv.fr/daj/plan-transformation-numerique-commande-publique
 OGP, France End-of-Term Self-Assessment 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/france-end-of-term-self-assessment-2018-2020/
 Cerdd, The Regional Observatory of Public Procurement reaffirms its role, http://www.cerdd.org/Actualites/Transitions-economiques-vers-le-DD/L-Observatoire-Regional-de-la-Commande-Publique-reaffirme-son-role
 Essonne, Observatory of public procurement in Essonne, https://www.essonne.fr/fileadmin/actus3/20190220-VF_Flyer_commande_publique-9023-V9.pdf