14 February 2011

The US Government backpedalled last week on a proposal to introduce greater openness in contracting.   Federal agencies will not have to post contract details on their websites.
Last May, agencies were given notice of the move towards greater transparency.  Although the intended publication would not have compromised contractors’ confidential commercial or financial information, perhaps unsurprisingly, many industry groups lobbied against the proposal.
The concern of one open government NGO is apparent from a statement that the Administration’s changed approach is seen to favour large, well connected suppliers, and that “despite many advances in technology, it appears that the president is now happy with the status quo and the ancient ways of gathering spending information.”