–Ian Makgill, Founder, Spend Network.
Our last post on what needs to happen to open procurement covers the skills you need to maintain a procurement publication service. Governments often focus too much on the technology needed to publish procurement data, ignoring the need to maintain and run the service in the long term.
Once set up, you will need staff to maintain the data infrastructure, to make sure that the service is running correctly, but you will also need staff to monitor the data and to make sure that the right data is in the right place.
Technical staff: to run a successful database, you need staff that are capable of monitoring the systems and making sure that the database is running effectively. Staff would be responsible for making sure that software is current and supported, that systems are meeting demand and making sure that backups run and that there are robust measures in place for getting the service back up and running in the event of a problem.
Data staff: to make sure that the service is running effectively, this means having staff who can monitor missing data or poor quality submissions, such as dates that don’t make sense, e.g. a contract end date in 2200 rather than 2020 or a contract with an excessive value that needs to be checked. These staff should work with publishers to make sure that the data is being submitted correctly.
Your suppliers may provide the technical staff, but this should be considered prior at the point of tender to avoid vendor lock-in. Data staff can come from outside or inside the organisation, but a close relationship with technical staff is advisable, as this allows for data staff to direct technical staff and to find problems.
Spend Network provides an easy to use publication service for Governments, we gather all of the data you need and publish it online for a simple, flat fee. To find out more get in touch.