Journal data quality

Journal data quality is one of the indicators used to calculate the zIndex score for evaluating contracting authorities.

The Journal data quality indicator evaluates the quality of information published via the Public Procurement Journal by the contracting authority, in particular the validity of information fundamental for transparency, accountability and fair competition. Following shortcomings related to a contract award notice are penalized:

  • failure to disclose contract notice (in case of open, restricted or negotiated with publication procedure or competitive dialogue)
  • incorrect price changes disclosure
  • failure to disclose winning or estimated winning price (or ambiguous formulation clearly not corresponding to the actual price - e.g. hourly rate)
  • incorrect identification number of the contracting authority
  • incorrect identification number of the winning bidder (in case of a single winner contract, where it is technically possible)
  • incorrect official name of the contracting authority (minor typos and letter capitalization mistakes are ignored)
  • undisclosed type of procedure
  • insufficient procedure justification (when choosing negotiated procedure without publication or other country-specific below-the-threshold procedures)
  • undisclosed number of tenders submitted

Indicator identifies cases of violation of elementary public procurement transparency rules. Each of the above listed shortcomings reduces the overall transparency level of the process, cripples the possibility of public control and indirectly contributes to corruption and inefficiency in public procurement (OECD (2005), EC (2013)). When auditing projects co-financed by the structural funds the European Commission considers non-compliance with the advertising procedures as an irregularity that may be subjected to a financial correction (i.e. subsidy cut) of up to 100% of the value of the contract involved, with the minimum of 25% (COCOF (2007)).

Data published through the Journal represent important information source for all the stakeholders involved in the public procurement system - the bidders, the supervisory bodies, the Ministry of Regional Development as the guarantor of the system as well as the European Commission and other parts of European administration.

Errors in the published data may be caused by either negligence when filling out Journal forms or by deliberate obfuscation of sensitive information in order to reduce a contract's traceability. The primary purpose of the indicator is to punish the latter.

Non-disclosure of the contract notice

If a contracting authority fails to publish the contract notice in the central depository (i.e. the Journal) the possibility of bidder participation is greatly reduced. Non-disclosure of the contract notice is therefore considered a violence of transparency with possible significant impacts on the process and the result of the respective contract procurement. Contracts procured through the means of a negotiated procedure without publication are excluded from the evaluation, as well as small-scale contracts published in the Journal and contracts meeting the requirements of the simplified below-the-threshold procedure.

Undisclosed winning or estimated winning price

Non-disclosure (not even ex post) of winning or estimated winning price is a major violation of the procurement transparency (in particular in terms of public control). It is impossible in this manner to determine which bidder received what payment or how much a certain service actually cost the taxpayers. This also includes cases, when the declared price is apparently absurd (such as 1 CZK etc.) or grossly disproportionate (at least ten times lower or higher than price expected).

Cases when the price is specified in a way which makes it impossible to deduce the exact payment the winning bidder received are also penalized. That includes stating a minimum or a maximum tender price or a price that does not match the total contract volume - e.g. an hourly rate or a unit price. This also includes framework agreements, where the price can not be known ex ante, it is a common practice however to specify at least a maximum volume cap.

Incorrect identification number

Declaring wrong ID number of the winning bidder greatly reduces traceability of the contract. Such contracts were discovered and assigned to the respective bidder only due to our determined effort to correct erroneous data.

Declaring wrong ID number of the contracting authority reduces transparency of the procurement procedure by making its traceability more difficult. Ignored in the evaluation are public contests, contracts with multiple winning bidders (electronic version of the Journal is not capable of displaying ID numbers of several winning bidders) and contracts with a foreign winning bidder, which does not have a Czech ID number.

Incorrect official name of the contracting authority

Declaring several different official names of the contracting authority hinders the traceability of the contract for both the bidders and the general public and as such is a transparency violation. A public employee should be aware of the official name of his own institution (as specified in the Economic Subjects Register) and should be capable of filling it in the form accordingly. To illustrate the importance of a uniform official name declaration see this list of Czech contracting authorities in an international tenders database.

Undisclosed type of procedure and number of tenders

Failure to disclose the type of procurement procedure hinders the possibility of ex-post control (e.g. by means of Competitive contracting indicator) by concealing essential information about the procurement performance. It is also penalized the case when the type of procedure is specified, but it is inconsistent with its declared justification (in case of a negotiated procedure without publication).

Failure to disclose the number of submitted tenders reduces the overall transparency, as the level of competition can not be determined (see Bidder participation indicator).

The indicator calculation is a two step process:

Initially each contract is evaluated based on the following aspects. A contract is assigned the full value of 100% if no shortcoming was detected. Otherwise a penalty follows (bounded below by 0):

  • -100 % for the non-disclosure of the contract notice
  • -25 % for the non-disclosure of winning or estimated winning price (or a misleading price declaration)
  • -25 % for the non-disclosure of contract price change
  • -25 % for the incorrect identification number of the contracting authority
  • -25 % for the incorrect identification number of the winning bidder
  • -25 % for the incorrect official name of the contracting authority
  • -25 % for the non-disclosure of the procedure type (same for discrepancy between the type of procedure and its justification)
  • -25 % for the non-disclosure of total number of tenders

For example if the contracting authority provided incorrect ID number for both itself and the winning bidder and declared the winning price in the form of hourly rate, the contract will be assigned the value of 25 %. If however there was no contract notice published, the value drops to 0%.

All contracts with estimated value not exceeding 1 million CZK are excluded from the evaluation - these may include small-scale contracts published on a voluntary basis - as it would not be quite right to penalize shortcomings of such voluntary conduct. There is no doubt however, once a contracting authority decides to publish a small-scale contract in the Journal, it should do so properly - with correct ID numbers, names and with the contract award notice properly linked to the contract notice.

All contract ratings are subsequently aggregated using a weighted average, with the weight being the value of the respective awarded contract.

$$z_8 = \frac{contract\:value*contract\:rating}{total\:value\:of\:contracts}$$

A contracting authority may be discriminated if the Journal for some reason failed to pair the contract notice with the contract award notice and the former is thus evaluated as unpublished. It is more commonly not discriminatory however, when it is the contracting authority that fails to provide necessary data in the contract award notice (such as contract notice registration number) and the Journal is not to blame. Despite not being as serious misconduct as the actual contract notice non-disclosure, it still remains a violation of transparent procedure. In a very small number of cases the winning price may be classified as inadequate. This typically include cases where extreme savings were achieved (more than 90%) or price was declared as monthly or annual (see Prices).

Due to the aforementioned exclusion of minor contracts the indicator tends to favour smaller contracting authorities that procure fewer major contracts and thus have fewer opportunities to commit this mistake.

  • Supervision over published information. Data published through the Journal is an important information source. It is thus necessary to remember to publish all necessary notifications, ensure consistency with the information already published, make sure the winning price or the estimated price is clearly defined and ID numbers and names of all participated parties are valid.
  • By implementing supervisory mechanisms. In order to ensure the validity of published information, process management practices may be implemented: e.g. creating a process map with checklists, „four-eye“ principle etc.
  • en/kvalita_dat_ve_vestniku.txt
  • Poslední úprava: 2019/10/01 09:45
  • autor: Tomáš Ducháček