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Data in Spaces

In the recently released seventh episode in the podcast series of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Olli-Pekka Rissanen pondered the Commission Data strategy released in early 2020. This initiative also includes,  let’s say, an idea for establishing “Data Spaces” in several key industry sectors – one of those being data space for Public Administration Data. Also, Sitra has produced a neat working paper in the Commission Data Strategy summarizing 35 proposals to make the European data strategy work.

While the Data Strategy itself indeed leaves open what things would mean on a practical level the issue of “Data Space” seems to be popping out here and there in the Commission presentation. In late April the Commission presented us in the Multi-stakeholder Expert Group on eProcurement (EXEP) the idea of establishment of Public Procurement Data Space. To me this was not some high-level prattle on making EU great again but a concrete action plan with next steps and deadlines.

The first step is to properly gather the public procurement data already at the Commission’s use via Tenders Electronic Daily (TED data space) and enhance the analytic data processing capabilities to produce useful and meaningful data services to the Commission, member states and of course anyone interested in exploring how the administration in EU is using tax-payers money. In the second stage the member states would gather their additional data in their own data space / spaces, publish the data openly to a place from where the Commission could access and maybe retrieve the data.

The third step adds additional data – not directly public procurement related data for providing even more meaningful analytics and data for anyone who wants to understand where all that money goes. In the case of Finland maybe 47 billion Euros annually, maybe something else, depending on what is considered in the calculus method. Lastly, the Commission would also offer the analytic tools to member states to analyse the patterns and provide reports to e.g. buying organisations on how to lead and improve with the help of data.

When I was listening to the Commission’s presentation it all sounded somewhat familiar. Don’t we in Procurement Finland program (Hankinta-Suomi) have similar targets and aren’t we already working on these issues? Maybe we don’t use the same terms, but the idea and goal had a very similar ringing in my ears.

One of the primary goals in our country-wide public procurement strategy is “Finland is a pioneer in public procurement knowledge management and efficiency development”. I think that we could soon tick off one box from the strategy list: when we get the public procurement data combined and analytics working we could have a queue of country representatives asking us how on earth did we do it.

I will silence myself for the month of July. Happy hols and see you all in August!

For more, please read – or listen:
Ministry of Finance: Tiedon äärellä – podcast series (available in Finnish only)

Commission: A European Strategy for Data

Sitra: 35 proposals to Make the European Data Strategy Work

Commission’s Action Plan for Public Procurement Data Space

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