British Embassy in El Salvador supports CoST El Salvador to increase transparency in public infrastructure

The British Embassy in El Salvador has officially joined the CoST El Salvador Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) as an Observer member to support the programme in increasing transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. The British Embassy has long championed the initiative on the ground and their membership to the MSG marks a formalisation of this partnership.

At the recent CoST El Salvador Scoping Study report launch, His Excellency the Ambassador of El Salvador, Mr Bernhard Garside, gave an opening address in which he underlined the need to institutionalise the initiative within Government and secure greater participation from civil society to challenge the status quo. Following the Scoping Study report, CoST El Salvador is now working to establish an Interim Disclosure Requirement (IDR) within the Ministry of Public Works to provide a legal and binding mandate for CoST. If successful, CoST El Salvador would seek to extend this commitment through a Formal Disclosure Requirement (FDR).

Given their focus on prosperity and security, the British Embassy in El Salvador will provide valuable insights to the MSG on creating a fair and competitive infrastructure market through good governance, as well as ensuring safe and efficient infrastructure delivery. His Excellency the Ambassador of El Salvador, Mr Bernhard Garside, said: “The efforts of CoST to ensure that information on public infrastructure projects is available to the general public in El Salvador goes hand in hand with our commitment to promote transparency and anti-corruption across all sectors.”

The Scoping Study revealed that only 26 of the 40 CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) points are proactively disclosed (equivalent to 68.4%). The remaining 31.6% are only available upon request, also known as reactive disclosure, which evidences the need for CoST in increasing transparency in public infrastructure. Gerson Martinez, Minister of Public Works, recognised the need for greater openness around public infrastructure and reaffirmed his dedication to the CoST El Salvador MSG as part of the administration’s open government policy. The MSG will now begin the assurance process to review disclosed data and identify any issues of concerns in order to empower stakeholders to demand accountability from their public infrastructure decision-makers. 

The full Scoping Study report is available here (in Spanish), with further information available via the CoST El Salvador website. For the latest updates, follow CoST El Salvador on Twitter via @CoSTsv

Date Published: 12 July 2016
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