Argentina

Towards an Open Government

Our country is part of the Alliance for Open Government (AGA), a multilateral initiative of 70 states, which was founded in 2011 by the governments of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Through this initiative, the Argentine Open Government National Action Plan committed to furthering its compliance with practices underpinned by the principles of Transparency, Citizen Participation, Accountability and Innovation and Technology.

Moving towards a 21st-century bureaucracy, that is, a paperless public administration, presented itself, then, as the great challenge for our management. Having the technological scaffolding, the necessary support to make the qualitative leap and move from a paper format to electronic documents, was the first step in a process of more complete organizational change. This transition sought to facilitate interaction between citizens and different public bodies, and promote the autonomous relationship between different systems.

Towards an Intelligent State

The foundational hypothesis of the State modernization policy holds that in order to build a public administration that is at the service of citizens, within a framework of efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of services, it is strictly necessary to promote the interoperability of state systems through their interconnection and simplify the current processes. Inspired by the successful experience with the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the Electronic Document Management System (hereinafter GDE) was implemented in the National Government. It is a management software that consists of a network of integrated modules that are available to all users and with a digital signature system that allows the complete processing of all procedures in electronic form. This platform includes the management of all records, internal and external communications, as well as a set of tools such as API (Application Programming Interface) services and the design of active SDK (Software Development Kit) forms.

This model promotes the culture of public efficiency, emphasizes the results and the quality of services, allows intelligence in the use of data and interoperability, based on accountability systems aimed at increasing transparency and stimulating citizen participation.

It is necessary to emphasize that ICTs are not an end in themselves, but rather a means to create intelligent states that provide answers to citizens in a quick and timely manner. What is really important with the massive, but correct introduction of ICT is an integral administrative reform of all aspects and areas of the State, which allows the bureaucracy to take new paradigms according to the demands of the 21st century.

To carry out the modernization policy, it has been essential to have a strong political decision, to promote a normative transformation, the creation of adequate computer systems and the formation of implementation teams with multidisciplinary orientation.


Modernization of State Purchases and Contracting

The Purchasing and Contracting systems, known worldwide as electronic purchasing systems, have great relevance because they are the main control over a large part of the state’s expenses. From the Ministry of Modernization, we have designed and put into operation new digital developments that speed up and accelerate the procedures and times with which these processes have been handled and resolved. The novelty of these platforms is that e-procurement systems are generally designed to govern all procurement and contracting rules of the state and therefore have a great interaction with budget systems, but are not integrated into electronic processing platforms and therefore the documentation is done in paper format, which represents a great failure in the control, since what has legal value is what is in the content of the documents .. The problem extends a little beyond purchases and contracts; purchased or contracted goods and services must also be registered, whether durable or consumer goods, and in many cases the goods that the state wishes to sell must also be auctioned. For this purpose, the platforms COMPR.AR, CONTRAT.AR, Patrimonial Assets, Warehouses, and SUBAST.AR were developed, these shopping sites, auctions and electronic records not only simplified administration times and made them more efficient, but also made transparent the operations between the government and other private entities, and provided citizens and civil society organizations with tools to control these processes, reducing the existence of irregularities and corruption.

The publication of purchases and contracts of large areas of the National Government on the website compra.gob.ar and on the website contrato.gob.ar, fulfills two vital functions of the task of making the management of the Executive Branch more transparent: they equalized opportunities for access to a bid or contract by the State and, at the same time, information is provided on the same platform and accessible databases are produced for civil society organizations and citizens interested in controlling public accounts. A large amount of information obtained through digital tools allows the possibility of having indicators that allow evaluating the results of public procurement in terms of cost-efficiency; opportunity; quality; transparency; integrity and fair treatment. Based on consistent, reliable and up-to-date data, it is possible to carry out accurate assessments and take measures to improve recruitment.

As part of the Transparency and Integrity Agenda in Argentina promoted by the Ministry of Modernization, the team of the National Contracting Office (ONC) is working on the adoption of the Data Standard for Open Contracting (EDCA) for the mentioned systems and from November 2017 we are members of the Alliance opening data on public procurement, Contracting 5, together with the governments of France, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Mexico, Colombia and in close collaboration with Open Contracting Partnership.

Purchase System COMPR.AR

With the support of the GDE system, compra.gob.ar was developed, a shopping, contracting and public auctions website of the National Public Administration.

Government entities process and publish their contracting processes through the platform, and suppliers present their offers in an agile, transparent and secure manner. In pursuit of the objective of interoperability and integrity of information, COMPR.AR is integrated with GDE in relation to document management and administrative flow, the financial system (e-SIDIF or SAP according to the agencies) for the management budget and the payments, the catalog of products (for its acronym in English, SIBYS) as a single nomenclator of the goods and services contracted.

The COMPR.AR system solves the following procedures: Public bidding, private bidding, public and private bidding, direct contracting and public auction. At the same time, it allows the different modalities included in the regulations: Framework Agreement, Open Purchase Order, Turnkey, Comprehensive Projects Contest, Maximum Price, Consolidated. This electronic purchases tool is designed to achieve an improvement and standardization of multiple administrative processes, which results in a homogenization of purchases and contracts throughout the National Public Administration. The fundamental role of this system is to achieve total accessibility and simplicity of these procedures, achieving greater transparency, safety and efficiency.

Electronic Management System for Contracts of Public Works, Public Works and Public Services of concessions and licenses CONTRAT.AR

Contrat.ar is a tool that allows citizens to render accounts, generate transparent processes and avoid discretionality in the contracting of public works, allows the dissemination and access to public tenders, promoting competitiveness among suppliers.

All archives and official documents generated from Contrat.ar automatically feed the Builder File in the GUCOP module (Public Works Builder's Unique Manager), which will have all its data, as well as in the bids that have been presented as bidder and superior. All things if you have had some kind of administrative sanction for non-compliance with the Work, the various agencies of the National Public Administration can evaluate the suitability or not of the offer with support on that basis.

The Contrat.ar Execution module allows the monitoring and monitoring of the use, destination, and exercise of public resources, with the aim of improving management, as well as preventing and combating corruption. Giving credibility to state institutions. It also calculates and shows the users or contractors the deviation (if applicable) in the execution of the work with respect to the Work Plan and the Investment Curve approved in the bidding process.

Integration

This platform is integrated with different systems, on the one hand, with GDE, both for the generation of the Contractual File and for the different Files and that are generated from the different process of execution of the work, such as financial progress or the different certifications of work progress. All the files are automatically associated with the contract file, allowing the monitoring of the different events in the management of the contract; on the other hand, it is also integrated into the financial system (e-SIDIF or SAP according to the agencies), for budgetary management from the beginning of the hiring to the disbursements in the execution of the work. Recently, it was integrated with the INDEC's price system to automatically obtain the update of the benchmark indexes for the re-determination of contractual prices, a process that currently lasts more than 9 months, today the calculation is made automatically without human intervention (alert red of corruption) saving 70% of processing time and providing guarantees to contractors on the variation of prices due to inflation; and finally, we can name the integration with the Public Investment Territorial Planning System (PPO) in which it interacts with this Platform to obtain technical and geo-referenced data when bidding for work.