Analyzing GoC Contract Spending

Welcome to the first volunteer-led, public, historical analysis of Canadian federal government contract spending at a whole-of-government level. Learn more about the methodology and data, review the initial analysis and trends, or download the data to identify insights of your own.

This is a volunteer-run analysis of Government of Canada contract spending. The federal government spends more than $15B each year in competitive or sole-sourced contracts.

Since the mid-2000s, contracts larger than $10,000 have been published on each department’s Proactive Disclosure websites. Publishing contracting information is intended to improve transparency and public trust in government contracting and spending decisions.

Although departments have published contracting data for more than a decade, the format in which it was published – on individual departmental webpages for each contract or amendment – made it difficult to analyze at scale.

Since 2016, departments have begun publishing contracting data on the Open Government website in a government-wide CSV dataset. This dataset is much easier to analyze, but does not include historical data for most departments.

In order to build a government-wide, historical dataset of Government of Canada contract spending, volunteers from Ottawa Civic Tech built a collection of website scrapers and other analysis tools. These tools collected data from 84 departments, merged it together, detected duplicate entries, matched sets of contract amendments together, and calculated aggregate statistics.

Contract and amendment entries by department, by fiscal quarter. See more analysis charts.