CoST Guatemala: Strengthening public infrastructure transparency from the ground up
Edwin Escobar, President of the National Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Guatemala (ANAM), has recommended that all city halls within the Guatemalan network implement CoST principles and standards. Guatemala’s eight regions are locally managed by over 300 city halls, all responsible for procuring public infrastructure for their local communities. Having initially worked exclusively with Procuring Entities at national level such as the General Directorate of Roads (DGC) and the Road Maintenance Fund (COVIAL), city halls provide CoST Guatemala with a much more extensive network of implementing agencies to support its mission of delivering better value public infrastructure.
CoST Guatemala will support any city halls interested in the initiative by providing practical training and guidance on public infrastructure disclosure, including use of the national e-procurement portal Guatecompras. Furthermore, CoST Guatemala will cover projects from local authorities within their next assurance report due mid-2017 to identify key issues and provide clear recommendations for improved public infrastructure delivery.
Edwin Escobar, President of the National Association of Municipalities of the Republic of Guatemala (ANAM), said: “For ANAM, it is important as part of its working policy to support the CoST Guatemala Initiative. Successful models in Latin America have shown that decentralisation of public spending in provincial and municipal governments is an essential tool for sustainable human and economic development. But the transfer of more resources to municipalities to fulfill their own and delegated competencies, must be accompanied by concrete efforts in management transparency and accountability. ANAM has found a true strategic ally in the CoST Guatemala Initiative for technical training of municipal governments to support a prosperous, educated and secure Guatemala.”
Rafael Poitevin, Director of Guate Cívica and CoST Guatemala MSG Civil Society Representative, said: "CoST Guatemala does an important job to support municipalities by training and urging them to disclose information related to management on public works, generating an impact on the welfare of communities."
At national level, there has been a significant increase in the rate of disclosure recently from 28% to 43% as a result of new legislation advocated by CoST Guatemala which mandates disclosure of public infrastructure data. Through greater cooperation at local level, CoST Guatemala hopes to build upon this impact to create a culture of transparency across the country which ultimately benefits local communities.