Government of Honduras commits to acting on recommendations from CoST Honduras Assurance Report
The Minister of Infrastructure, Roberto Ordoñez, has praised CoST Honduras for increasing transparency and accountability within national public infrastructure and committed to implementing CoST’s recommendations. The announcement was made as part of a series of events organised by CoST Honduras to launch its second Assurance Report; CoST Assurance has increased transparency in the country, improving disclosure rates on projects sampled from 24 to 97 per cent overall.
Following on from the first round in May 2015, CoST Honduras’ second assurance process analysed 19 projects across the General Directorate of Roads (DGC) and the Roads Fund (VF). For the DGC, transparency was found to be strongly embedded in the contract management phase at a level of 100% disclosure compliance but lowest in the planning phase, with 80% disclosure compliance. Conversely, VF only achieved 19% disclosure compliance in the contract management phase but achieved better results in the contracting phase at a rate of 74% disclosure. Throughout the assurance process, the CoST Honduras Assurance Team has worked with government offices to increase disclosure, demonstrating the added value of the initiative in improving transparency standards.
Through a review of the disclosed data, the CoST Honduras Assurance Team identified several issues of concern including:
Significant contract extensions, with cases such as Las Crucitas-Teupasenti project should have been delivered in 16 months but, after several modifications, was extended to 108 months due to project redesign and suspension of works following delays in legal proceedings.
Changes in contract value, reflecting increases of up to 161% as in the case of the Logistics Corridor Villa de San Antonio-Goascorán Section IB, whereby the original contract of 635 million Lempiras was extended to 1,657 million Lempiras due to the scope of work changing from a two-lane road to a four-lane road. Also, the Tegucigalpa-Catacamas Section III: Rio Dulce-Limones has doubled in value from 570 million to 1187 million Lempiras and the project is awaiting further cost and time extensions.
Long delays from project design to implementation, ranging from one to 14 years. Such substantial gaps between the completion of designs and the start of construction not only demonstrates poor management but also leads to changes in project costs and the terms of contracts.
The Assurance Team has formulated a number of pertinent recommendations within the assurance report to address these issues, including the certification of project designs prior to bidding to ensure they are valid and effective at the point of tender. Both the Assurance Team and Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) will now support the Government to enact the report’s recommendations and bring about systemic change in delivering better value public infrastructure through increased transparency and accountability. Furthermore, the Government of Honduras has committed to sharing lessons learnt globally and will be hosting a peer-learning study visit for CoST Malawi in this month to increase transparency globally.
To find out more about the findings from CoST Honduras assurance process, visit their website (in Spanish) for summaries, analysis and graphs. Follow the latest from CoST Honduras via Twitter (@CoSTHonduras) and don’t miss their new video on the assurance process!