Over the last two decades, governments have increased their investment in information technology to improve the use of public resources, using public electronic procurement systems to obtain better prices, better solutions and to show transparency in the procurement process. Public procurement of software development projects is specific acquisitions having specific technical, methodological, and management constraints that make transparency an elusive target. This article proposes a maturity model as a tool to measure tendering transparency when government agencies procure software development. We have used a procedural model to support the design of maturity models along four dimensions: Institutionalization, Software procurement process, Communication, and Accountability. We have defined a five-step model, and we have tested it with real government buyers. The model is supported by an appraisal tool that helps to guide the next steps in the transparency of software acquisitions.
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