ACCA and OCP call for fresh focus on fairness in public contracts

Accountants join with global campaign group to champion change

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is calling for a fresh focus on transparency, accountability and value for money in public procurement.

The global body for professional accountants made the call at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), a global group that promotes open, fair and sustainable public contracting to give communities the public goods, works and services that they need.

As part of the alliance, ACCA and OCP are advocating for changes in UK law to ensure that the best practices are embedded in public procurement.

OCP will join ACCA’s Virtual Public Sector Conference in a session From data to decisions:

transforming public finance and procurement systems on 2 December 2022. The session will focus on the use of open government data for supporting accountability, improving public services, and reducing corruption.

The MOU was signed by Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, and Gavin Hayman, executive director of OCP at ACCA’s headquarters in London.

Helen Brand said: ‘Accountability and fairness in public procurement are very important to our members, and they’re important for society too, because they go to the heart of trust in government.’ 

‘Between a third and a half of government spending goes on procurement, and it’s vital that taxpayers get value for money.

‘ACCA and OCP are in an important position to act as a bridge between the needs and interests of private and public providers, as well as guarding value for money for taxpayers.’

Global focus on procurement sharpened during the Covid crisis, when governments were forced to act fast to source emergency medical and disease prevention supplies. In some cases normal procurement procedures and internal controls were sacrificed for speed. ACCA and OCP have previously collaborated producing a report New models of public procurement: a tool for sustainable recovery.

‘The Covid crisis has pushed forward the conversation about the best practices for public procurement, and how accountants can play their part in promoting and protecting taxpayers’ interests,’ Helen Brand said.

‘Along with our friends from OCP, we have extensive experience which can help governments agree first principles on what fair procurement looks like.’

Hayman said: ‘Our world runs on public contracts. We have a unique opportunity to transform antiquated, paper-based approaches to public spending to make it smart, digital and accountable.

‘We are excited to work with ACCA and its huge network of accountants to that end.’

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Georg Neumann
Twitter: @opencontracting

About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants.

We’re a thriving global community of 241,000 members and 542,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.
We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. In December 2020, we made commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we are measuring and will report on in our annual integrated report.
We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at

About OCP
The Open Contracting Partnership is a silo-busting collaboration across governments, businesses, civil society, and technologists to open up and transform government contracting worldwide. We bring open data and open government together to make public contracting fair and effective. OCP is an independent not-for-profit working in over 50 countries around the world. We help make reforms stick and innovations jump scale, and foster a culture of openness about the policies, teams, tools, data, and results needed to deliver impact.