On the 26th February the Crown Commercial Service launched an updated version of its Contracts Finder website. As well as greatly improving how the site works and looks, it also enhanced the quality of data it captures and provides to businesses looking to contract with the public sector.
While this was extremely positive, it did leave us with quite a challenge: what to do with four years of tender and contract data that was not compatible with the new Contracts Finder whilst avoiding paying fees in perpetuity to the previous contractor to provide legacy support. In addition, how do we keep appropriate access and discoverability for the data?
The answers came from the team here at data.gov.uk who have built a Contracts Finder archive to house the records, providing a similar search facility to the old site and basic bulk downloads. To date they have uploaded over 65,000 records (mainly licensed as OGL), as well as all the historical data summary reports and pipeline reports that were made available each month.
In the coming months we will be working on increasing the number of records to include all those that are above the OJEU thresholds and improving the archive’s functionality. This will include complete bulk download and new search options, such as filters for contract type or region.