Info:
London
citizen engagement
Data
government spending
transparency

Spend Network

Team: Spend Network

Spend Network proposes a user-friendly insight analysis tool for London-based government, citizens and SMEs to improve procurement efficiency and competition. Having already developed a robust, open database on public spending and tenders, we now hope to create insights by linking our rich data assets with OrganiCity’s Data Observatory. The data will be presented through a common vocabulary and will be linked to other data around suppliers, budgets and quality to give citizens and government the opportunity to more efficiently plan their future procurement, ensure quality of supplies and assess the value for money they are achieving in their contracts.

The Team

  
The team from left: Ian Makgill, Helen McNally, Sim Kennedy

“Our experiment made government spending transparent to all, helping SMEs and citizens understand London’s public sector market through sharing procurement data and creating an app using geospatial data.”

Process

We linked and categorised open data, using London tenders and contracts published on TED, Contracts Finder and other local portals like https://www.londontenders.org and open spending published by local authorities. We categorised the data to a common vocabulary and then link data to supplier records on OpenCorporates.
We produced easy to use data visualisations on spend and tender data so that citizens can understand what is being spent and whether this offers value for money using Organicity’s Tinkerspace and Urban Data Observatory tools.

    

Experiment Outcome

     
Spending results for the government and the public sector.

Lessons Learned

  • Recruiting users to test your product is hard, make sure you leave enough time for this and get creative about how to use your existing networks.
  • Earlier testing of the final product would have helped us to respond more efficiently to user feedback and needs.
  • Be flexible, make sure your experiment remains a good fit to the OrganiCity tools as they are developed.

 

Public Spend Made Transparent website

 

What Happened & What’s Next?

We hope to aid future OrganiCity experimenters:

  • Our scripts will continue to update the assets with the latest spend/tenders.
  • We will share publicly the Tinkerspace blocks we created for the app
  • Our learnings will be available through blogs
  • We will attend future OrganiCity events
  • We will provide support and advice to future experimenters, perhaps through Slack or a mentoring scheme.

Blog posts & Publications

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