Transparency International Slovakia and Fair-Play Alliance have launched a new internet portal (Google Translate version) aiming to provide easier access to thousands of contracts administered by the state. Journalists, researchers and members of public can now easily browse through the piles of digitalized and tidied contracts.
As of January 2011, ministries and other state authorities in Slovakia have been obliged to publish their contracts on the internet. The largest such state-run online database, Centrálny Register Zmlúv (Central Registry of Contracts), has gathered every contract signed since 1 January 2011. TIS and FPA have gone a step further as they remodel the database along the more transparent lines.
Otvorené Zmluvy, which is a Slovak for “open contracts” has been thus compiled in order to present the documents in a more accessible and user-friendly fashion. It now roofs more than 80 000 of them with more being added in due course. The project aims to uncover the flaws and uncertainties that can hardly be reviewed and examined by a limited group of journalists or dedicated researchers. By using an open platform it hopes to crowdsource such efforts and contributes to creating watch-dog community.
Having involved a group of experts on procurement, the researchers have identified the oft-present flaws that these contracts may contain. So far eleven criteria serve as a preselection option for end-user to narrow the search and identify the dubious documents more swiftly. These can subsequently be examined by the user himself and/or identified as potentially dubious for an expert to investigate further.