Give us feedback on the draft principles

The full text of the principles is here, which has some more explanation for each principle.

This document is a working draft for public discussion.  It should not be taken as reflecting the agreed position of the members of CGD’s Working Group on Commercial Confidentiality in Government Contracts.  After consultation and further discussion, the Working Group will produce a consensus set of principles. Working Group members serve in a personal capacity.


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* Principle 1: Full contract publication should be the norm – redaction should be the exception, supported by a public interest justification.

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* Comments on Principle 1

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* Principle 2: Government contracting processes should be designed for transparency

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* Comments on Principle 2

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* Principle 3: There should be an enforcement system for ensuring that contracts and contract information is in fact disclosed in practice and in a usable form

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* Comments on Principle 3

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* Principle 4: Where there is not an up-front requirement for full publication, any redaction for commercial sensitivity should be based on a robust application of the public interest test

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* Comments on Principle 4

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* Principle 5: The ‘public interest test’ should take into account the economic benefits of the sharing of commercial information, such as more competitive public contracting, as well as the broader case for the public’s right to know

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* Comments on Principle 5

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* Principle 6: It is particularly important that the pieces of information needed to judge value for money are disclosed

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* Comments on Principle 6

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* Principle 7: Governments should issue clear guidance to public entities, agencies and firms on the issue of when contract information may be exempted from publication on the basis of commercial sensitivity to set clear expectations and reduce uncertainty

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* Comments on Principle 7

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* Principle 8: When a case by case redaction approach is used, only the contracting party that claims potential direct financial harm from a specific release of information should be able to request redaction of information

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* Comments on Principle 8

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* Principle 9: When a case by case redaction approach is used there should be a clear process and time limits for determining what is redacted in individual contracts, why, for how long, and with what appeals process

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* Comments on Principle 9

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* Principle 10: Redaction on the grounds of commercial confidentiality should be grounds for increased scrutiny through other oversight mechanisms

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* Comments on Principle 10

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* Any other comments?

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