CoST El Salvador launches first CoST Assurance Report and signs Interim Disclosure Requirement

CoST El Salvador Press conference. From left to right: Angel Díaz – CASALCO, Noris López – chair of the MSG , Bernhard Garside - U.K. Ambassador in El Salvador, Gerson Martinez – Minister of Public Works.

CoST El Salvador recently published the results from its first Assurance Report on 20 public infrastructure projects from the roads, health, energy and local development sectors. At the press conference to launch the Report, the Minister for Public Works, Gerson Martinez also signed an Interim Disclosure Requirement (IDR) that mandates the disclosure of data in the Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) format on all Ministry projects.

The Assurance Report found that, while most of the information required by CoST is contained in contractual documents, of the 20 projects less than 40% of information was proactively disclosed to the public. Some projects did not disclose information at all, more than ten did not publish detail about how contracts were awarded, and others did not allow visits to the construction site by the Assurance Team. The IDS indicators least likely to be reported included the impact of the project on the land and settlements, approval dates and budgets and the number of bidders.

The Report recommends publishing clear and concise information on project status and proactively providing key information on project modifications, using the CoST indicators as a framework. It also recommends the establishment of a Formal Disclosure Requirement (FDR) across all institutions that implement public infrastructure, and a web platform that allows them to publish and update project information. The signing of the IDR is the first step along the way to the FDR, and CoST is supporting El Salvador to create an online platform for publishing the information.

Minister Gerson Martínez stated "Under the initiative, the ministerial office has already adopted a ministerial agreement, through which CoST disclosure standards are now institutionalized to monitor the quality of public works and the transparency of public works".

In support, UK Ambassador to El Salvador Bernhard Garside stated, "we want to ensure that public-private relations carry out commitments and recommendations for transparency and that CoST standards are fully implemented in all of their contracts." 

Finally, the Report proposes that the performance of construction companies is closely monitored so that issues can be raised and solved early on in the process, saving time and money.

CoST El Salvador, represented by Jeysel Cisneros (far left), takes part in a radio interview on the Assurance Report

Date Published: 22 August 2017
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