New web service makes state procurement information available to everyone

A new Finnish state-launched website allows everyone to easily check and analyse up-to-date state procurement information. The site, www.tutkihankintoja.fi (Finnish for “examine procurements”), aims to make administration more transparent and to help develop central government procurement. It will also enable companies to access valuable market information.

The service will open on 4 September 2017 at www.tutkihankintoja.fi, and it will be free of charge and open to all. When it opens, the service will include details of all central government procurements from the start of 2016, worth over EUR 6 billion. In future, new procurements will appear on the site almost immediately. The service is being launched by Hansel Ltd, the Finnish Government’s central purchasing body, and it was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance.

“Every resident of Finland will benefit from the transparency of public spending and an open administration culture. The website also offers the suppliers a new way to examine the market,” says Hansel CEO Anssi Pihkala.

For security reasons, defence and security sector authorities, such as the administrative branch of the Ministry of Defence, the National Police Board, and the Finnish Border Guard, will not have their procurements published on the site. In addition, some information will be kept secret to ensure individuals’ privacy and public safety.

The information which is now being published online has hitherto been available to all under the Act on Openness of Government Activities, but accessing it required special information requests to individual organisations. This made obtaining information difficult and strained the resources of both the applicant and the organisation in question. Now all information can be easily accessed on one website.

A global pioneer in openness

In addition to the tutkihankintoja.fi site, information on public procurement will be published for all to use on opendata.fi. This means that new data-based services and applications can be developed and used freely for various purposes. All the benefits of the tutkihankintoja.fi site and the accessibility of the data remain to be seen, as no other such service exists worldwide.

“In international terms, the site is pioneering. As far as we know, no other state has launched a similar service. While it is difficult to give concrete figures, we believe the service will generate savings. We have talked with Aalto University about possible research regarding the benefits of the project,” Pihkala says.

The version of the site now being launched is the first, and the Ministry of Finance and Hansel are actively developing it further. The site is part of the Finnish Government’s programme to implement a digital shift in public procurement, which in turn is part of the Government’s key project “Public services will be digitalised”.

tutkihankintoja.fi makes central government procurement information available for everyone, almost in real time. The site is part of the Finnish Government’s key project “Public services will be digitalised” and its sub-programme to digitalise public procurement. It aims to make administration more transparent and to develop central government purchasing activities. Great Apes Ltd was responsible for the technical delivery of the service.