Before the initiative began, potential bidders for a public procurement project were given less than a week to prepare before they make a bid. A public notice for bidder eligibility and required documents would be posted at the website of Public Procurement Service of Korea with 5-7 days of bidding period. There was no way for a potential bidder to know which ministry or agency was planning what kind of bidding project when. Obviously, a week was not long enough for potential bidders to review in detail the public notice or request for proposal. The result was that bidders placed a bid without a full consideration of the deal, and sometimes they find that they are unable to perform the project as proposed after signing a contract.
Another issue of the bidding process was that no information about a procurement project, or contract signed for the project (e.g. winning bidder, contract amount, progress made, payment date, etc.) was disclosed before or after the public notice. This often led to a public perception that there may be something fishy going on behind the scene. In fact, bribery or other corruption scandals surrounding a contract for a public project were not unknown in Korea, so the public perception was not entirely groundless.
What was worse, the lack of transparency in contract information affected subcontractors. The timing when the advance payment or progress payment was made was kept from the public, which resulted in such cases where the main contractor delayed or refused to pay the subcontractor, citing non-payment from the client, even though the client already made the payment for the project in time. In addition, since there was no information available about a contract, it was difficult to know where the construction site is (for a construction project) or who is overseeing the progress on site.
Bidders also experienced inconvenience monitoring several different websites not to miss a notice for a public procurement bid, since the information was disclosed not at a single site but through various channels, depending on the client (website of Public Procurement Service, Gyeonggi Net website, etc.).
In order to remove the factors causing inconveniences and enhance transparency in execution of public procurement projects, the local government of Gyeonggi Province of Korea decided to list up all the bidding or contract project to be initiated by Gyeonggi Province and affiliated agencies or institutes for a period of one year and disclose the information at the start of year. In early January, public procurement projects and their details are published online at Gyeonggi Net website (www.gg.go.kr). Also the information online is updated with further details about the actual contract and payment information later, so that others may know about the project progress.