About this project
Show list of needs
Scraping the Official Gazette and building an open database
Building an open source website that shows the data obtained, the visualizations and the journalistic content.
Crear la imagen del proyecto y el diseño de la página web
Journalistic/investigative research articles
Research about the final beneficiaries of companies and publication of three in-depth analysis articles
Hosting of the website during a year
Public contracting guide
Publication of downloadable manuals explaining how public contracting works is Spain
Journalistic/investigative research articles
Publication of an extra three research articles, with in-depth analysis of specific cases as well as general trends
API development to make the whole database available
|Total||$ 8,958||$ 13,437|
Over the last few years corruption scandals are a daily feature in Spanish news. Many of these cases share the use of public construction awards to foster illicit gains, from illegal commissions to multimillion projects that double their budgets without due justification. In Spain, we all have seen airports without plains, roads that go nowhere and monumental public projects abandoned halfway.
In Civio we want to launch a new project in which any citizen will be able to discover who are the companies receiving awards, for what amounts, who are behind these companies and if they have any connections with the public sphere - quite unbelievably, in Spain this information is not available in a consolidated and structured way.
We will do so using digital technology applied to investigative journalism, with research articles, visualizations and an open database available for downloading and reuse. As in every Civio’s project, all content, data and code will be open and free.
Main features and goals of the crowdfunding campaign
Information about awarded contracts and who are the final beneficiaries of companies is published partially, in not re-usable formats (PDF), and is difficult to find and analyse. To know which company received a particular award -and who is behind it- is a difficult task, forcing journalists, activists or any interested individual to dive among countless documents and, sometimes, to use pre-pay websites. The main sources to work with are the Official Gazette (BOE) and the Business Registry (BORME), the latest digitized only from 2009 onwards. With your help, we will work with these sources to extract a database of public construction awards: price, execution date, public administration financing the award, contracting method (tender, negotiated, etc.), and company awarded.
This information will be shared through visualizations -that will show which are the companies that have received more public awards, the contracts not publicly tendered, the amounts spent by each administration- together with journalistic stories that will deepen into the most relevant cases -linking the companies with their final beneficiaries, and these with their relations and connections with public officials.
To complete the project and to promote a better understanding of how public contracting works, we will include educational resources for every citizen interested in deepening into the current rules and regulations. Our aim is to start reducing opacity in public contracting, and this project is just a first step.
In the coming year we will use the experience and technology developed with Who cashes in the deal? to broaden the project and, combining it with the use of other sources, create a complete map of public awards in Spain, including not only construction contracts but health services, security services, the acquisition of software licenses and many other critical pubñic expenditure areas. We want to follow the money and bring light to a traditionally opaque area, and we need you to kick off this long endeavour.
Why this is important
In Civio we are missing a key project to be able to understand and scrutinise the global map of power in Spain. In our previous projects we have dealt with governmental pardons, public private relationships and the implications of particular laws and appointments, but we have a huge gap before we can close the loop: public contracting. Our next objective to analyse and scrutinise it and we want to start doing it with your support.
Our final objective is that public contracting becomes a more transparent process, so we will advocate to introduce the necessary reforms to increase access to information and accountability in this particularly opaque area.
That is why Who cashes in the deal? is a project for everyone. From citizens concerned about corruption and overspending who want to know more about how the public awarding system works, to journalists, researchers and social organizations, who will have new information available to find relevant stories or to complement their own data with a rigorous new structured source.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
With this campaign we aim to extract the data, build the platform and write research articles.
If we achieve the minimum resources sought, we will:
- Create a downloadable database of public construction awards
- Show the data in an open website with a CC license
- Publish at least three research articles, with in-depth analysis of specific cases as well as general trends
If we achieve the optimal volume of resources, we will:
- Publish downloadable manuals explaining how public contracting works in Spain.
- Publish an extra three research articles, with in-depth analysis of specific cases as well as general trends
- Develop an API to make the whole database available
We are Fundación Ciudadana Civio (“Civio”), a Spanish non-profit founded in 2011. We are a civil society organization that fights for a better democracy. We work to bring about a political culture based on the values of transparency and accountability, with free access to public data for every citizen and organization. We believe in a society made up of active citizens who have a strong sense of democratic responsibility and institutions committed to serve the public interest.
In our day-to-day activities we investigate and generate relevant information about public governance to empower citizens and improve the accountability of public institutions. We use open technology and data journalism to create online projects that allow citizens to monitor and audit governmental actions dealing with issues such as public spending (www.dondevanmisimpuestos.es), governmental pardons (www.elindultometro.es), access to public information (www.tuderechoasaber.es), official gazette activity (www.elboenuestrodecadadia.com) or public-private relationships and conflict of interests (www.quienmanda.es).
Our team is multidisciplinary and consists of David Cabo, Director of Civio and computer engineer, responsible all the development of the portal and data extraction; Eva Belmonte, the lead journalist responsible for analysing the data and writing the stories; Javier de Vega, taking the whole issue of communication and Cristina Moreno supporting partnerships.