The Swedish Agency for Public Management

The transaction database – for whom and for what? (2013:18)

Statskontoret was commissioned to review the future handling of ESV's transaction database (TDB). The TDB consists of data from more than 70 public authorities covering their purchases from non-governmental suppliers. ESV estimates that this corresponds to about 50 per cent of the value of this type of purchases for all government authorities. Over the course of this commission we have conducted a survey targeted at government authorities and has interviewed a selection of users and other stakeholders. TDB has also been evaluated on prior occasions.

Based on Statskontoret's own data collection and previous studies of the database, we have concluded that the aggregated data in the database is used to a limited extent. The database falls short in several aspects which impact on its usefulness. For example, the database lacks data on framework agreements, while the data on purchased products is too general to constitute the basis of more extensive analyses. The primary users make practically no use of the TDB, instead they have other methods for retrieving the data they require. Statskontoret makes the assessment that dismantling the TDB would have limited consequences, even though a few authorities would be affected to a somewhat greater extent.

All in all, Statskontoret is of the opinion that the benefit of ESV's transaction database is limited. Statskontoret is of the opinion that the database should be dismantled from 1 January 2014.

Statskontoret has, however, also pointed out the significance of carefully structured purchasing statistics. Such statistics can facilitate strategic purchasing and the governance of such work on several levels. Against this background, Statskontoret is of the opinion that the government should consider initiating an investigation into the prerequisites for developing a new database. Such work should take place in parallel with the introduction of e-commerce for government authorities and should begin as soon as possible. In this context, it would also be possible to consider whether the conditions exist for a joint database for both purchasing and procurement.