Tips 4 Student

The 8p banana that showed Bogotá needed more open public spending

On a regular school day in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city, around a million students, from four to 18 years of age, will take a seat for a supper at one of our 384 state funded schools.

Adjusted sustenance is critical for youngsters’ improvement. The sustenance we give may well be their primary feast for the whole day. So when concerns were brought up in 2016 over the quality, conveyance, cost, and even the root of our dinners, we considered them important.

Colombia had as of late begun distributing definite open contracting records as open information out of the blue. So our first port of call was to work with our national obtainment organization, Colombia Compra Eficiente, to examine the US$136m that we were spending on suppers and different administrations. What we discovered stunned us: extreme wastefulness, or more terrible.

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Chairman Enrique Peñalosa and I set out radical changes in light of an open contracting approach. We set up least and most extreme costs for suppers and we made the entire contracting process aggressive and completely open. Sourcing, pressing and conveyance of nourishment would never again be a solitary contract, and the most reduced offer cost would not be the main factor while picking a provider. Rather, it would be about quality.

We started sharing all the data about how suppers were acquired, from their wanting to their conveyance, on an open online stage for anybody to see, in a way that was straightforward.

We confronted protection from all headings. A portion of the current providers debilitated to sue, with nine claims endeavoring to end the procedure, and pressures flared in our politically captivated city, with more than 10 discusses in the city gathering over the procedure. Over that, a media spread crusade endeavored to ruin and harm the changes by spreading deluding data about, for instance, sustenance arriving harmed due to the new framework.


In December 2016, we opened up for offers to acquire 74 items. By March 2017, providers had been found for every one of them, with the exception of one: no organization put in an offer to give crisp natural product at the set cost.

This made us suspicious. The US$22m that organizations said they expected to supply us was more than we had planned for. Had firms boycotted the offering procedure to drive us to open another one with higher costs?

Equipped with our data, the training secretariat and Colombia Compra Eficiente grumbled to the market controller, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce. It started an examination investigating the claim that organizations were overstating the cost of crisp natural product by a stunning half. For example, our financial plan was 4p (141 Colombian peso) for a banana and 11p (418 Colombian peso) for an apple. Rather, we were being offered costs of 8p for a banana and 15p for an apple.

The case proceeds. Meanwhile we have possessed the capacity to push through our changes, utilizing open information to be straightforward and make our offering more brilliant. The financial plan of US$136m beforehand shared between 12 organizations is currently being spent among 54 specific makers. They pitch to us straightforwardly, removing middle people.