PriceboardNG is a platform that conducts commodity market research to aggregate prices of major commodities that are recurrent with the public procurement sector.
It is a civic technology response to the recurring challenge of project cost-inflation in the Nigerian public procurement process.
It is designed as an open, commodity pricing dashboard for government oversight agencies, civil society and media actors to access prices of major items that regularly feature in the budget of Nigeria.
Over the years, the Nigerian bureau of public procurement (BPP) monitors and publishes prices of commonly tendered items as a mandate in the Section 5(e) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 mandated the Bureau.
However, public procurement regulator had the challenges: the inconsistency in the publishing of price lists AND no open access to a national database of standard prices.
PTCIJ has modelled the priceboard after the price lists published by BPP in the past as a model for an open database to provide an online pricing dashboard to help MDAs and other government procuring entities.
Cases of corruption in the public procurement have involved project cost inflation such that result in gross mismanagement of funds meant to provide public goods. Even though there is obvious price inflation for these projects, there is no evidence to apprehend such acts due to absence of a unified commodity pricing mechanism to check this excess.
The principle of open contracting requires timely, routine publication of actionable information about the procurement and budgeting process. We believe that a system that opens up the prices of government procurement will promote transparency, public scrutiny and social accountability.
A civic technology-driven intervention to curb project inflation and provide commodity-pricing intelligence is useful for policy decisions.
The Priceboard initiative is premised on the fact that we can work with the bureau of public procurement and other open government stakeholders to ensure timely, consistent and accurate price information on public procurements items that prevent some of the expensive corruption investigations and prosecutions as well as inefficiencies across the procurement value chain by deploying data standards that enable us link various data from the budget, to procurement and ultimately to public services in a timely way.
Additionally, the platform is designed as an advocacy and planning tool for public institutions currently embracing open government. Our doors are open to support and advisory in making this a reality.