Open Contracting Data Standard: Documentation

Governments around the world spend an estimated US$9.5 trillion through contracts every year. Yet, contracting information is often unavailable for public scrutiny.

The Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. It was created to support organisations to increase contracting transparency, and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.

The OCDS approach:

  • Publish early, and iterate: improving disclosure step-by-step
  • Simple and extensible JSON structure
  • Publish data for each step of the contracting process
  • Create summary records for an overall contracting process
  • Re-useable objects: organisations, tender information, line-items, amounts, milestones, documents etc.
  • Recommended data and documents at basic, intermediate & advanced levels
  • Common open data publication patterns
  • Guidance on improving data collection and data quality
  • A growing community of users and range of open source tools


The Open Contracting Data Standard is a core product of the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP).

Version 1.0 of the standard was developed for the OCP by the World Wide Web Foundation, through a project supported by the Omidyar Network and the World Bank. Ongoing development is managed by Open Data Services Co-operative under contract to OCP.


A free helpdesk service is available to support implementation and use of OCDS.