OCDS for the European Union

This website describes how to express, in OCDS, the information in Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) notices.

European context

Technical

PDF files of the forms are provided by the European Commission, for reference only (Prior information notice, for example). However, the PDF files don’t formally specify the form fields and their possible values (numbers, dates, codes, etc.). These are specified in the Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) XML schemas. Of particular interest is the Publication Schema, which is used to publish notices.

Reading the schema, however, is challenging, unless you’re familiar with XML Schema and related tools. To make it easier to undertand the structure of the notices, we generated XML files for the notices, which provide validation rules in comments, and retain XML Schema elements like <choice> only where necessary.

The European Commission also provides template PDF files, in which label keys like ca stand for labels like ‘Contracting authority’, and provides an Excel file that maps the label keys to labels in official languages of the European Union.

This guidance is based on the TED publication XML schema R2.0.9 (006, 2018-06-08).

TED and OCDS

This website takes the human-readable form labels from the standard form PDF files, pairs them with the machine-readable element names from the TED XML files, and provides guidance on how to express the information in OCDS.

In this way, a policy analyst can see the relationship to the standard forms established in the Implementing Regulation, and a software developer can see the relationship to the elements defined in the TED XML schema.

Reading this website

The guidance on each page above follows the same order as a standard form and is organized into the same sections. Within each section, there is a table with three columns. For example:

Index Label and XPath OCDS guidance
II.1.1

Title
/OBJECT_CONTRACT/TITLE

Map to tender.title

  • Index makes it easy to find the content at the same index in the form
  • Label and XPath contains a paired form label and XML path
  • OCDS guidance describes how to transform TED XML to OCDS JSON (in most cases, the transformation is reversible)

Most fields map simply and directly from TED XML to OCDS JSON. Badges are used to call attention to special cases:

  • Proposal If there is no field or code in OCDS corresponding to a field or code in TED, the guidance proposes a new field or code. A link is provided to a GitHub issue to discuss the proposal.
  • Attention If there is a potential issue with the guidance, it is described briefly, and a link is provided to a GitHub issue to acknowledge or dismiss the potential issue.
  • Issue If there is a reported issue with the guidance, it is described briefly, and a link is provided to the GitHub issue.

When reading the guidance on this website, it may be useful to refer to the notice’s PDF file (be sure to open the new, not old, form), to see whether the field is a check box, radio button, etc. and to its XML file, to see the validation rules and other context.

Understanding the concepts in the forms

In many cases, the form labels from the PDF files and the element names from the XML files are both short and ambiguous, and therefore difficult to interpret. In such cases, it is useful to refer to:

We want your feedback!

This is the first public working draft of this website. To contribute, please first read this page, and then dive into the guidance. Feedback is discussed openly on GitHub. For your convenience, we provide links to GitHub for all proposals, potential issues, and reported issues. To browse all issues or open another issue, visit this website’s GitHub issues.