Improving Transparency and Democratizing Access to Public Sector Contracts using NLP
In a two-month challenge, a global team of 50 Omdena’s collaborators contributed to help democratize access to contract opportunities buried within public government documents and improve public sector transparency.
There are a lot of signals that indicate upcoming opportunities hidden within the public government documents. Early notification is seen as key to giving companies without an existing relationship (and the related insider info) an opportunity to participate in these contracts. The ultimate desire is for better communities in which to raise our families and build our businesses by improving a broken procurement process where incumbents win the majority of the contracts.
In order to never miss an opportunity about upcoming contract opportunities, policy changes, or any important local government topics, Ontopical combs publicly available information from government departments and then processes and analyzes text and transcripts to deliver unique insights. The bad news is that sorting through that online information isn’t easy. There is no one place to collect relevant information.
The project outcomes
Ontopical has gathered years of Municipal Council meeting agendas, minutes, and videos. Using these council meeting minutes, agendas & video transcriptions as well as data from Request for Proposal (RFP) posting sites, as training data, train a model to recognize upcoming business opportunities in meeting agendas, minutes, and videos LONG BEFORE any RFP is posted. This will help democratize access to upcoming contract opportunities by providing all with the advance notice required to submit a strong proposal. This will greatly help to make the process of submitting proposals in response to RFPs more transparent.
This challenge has been hosted with our friends at