Overview of transparency in the construction sector

Ali Hassan Mwyini Road in Blantyre, part of the Mota Engil Assurance Report
The construction sector in Malawi is categorised into Six main sub-sectors namely water, energy, housing, transport, telecommunications and irrigation. Measures to promote transparency are documented in the Public Procurement Regulations 2004 where it is required that procuring entities keep the record of public procurement proceedings. Apart from the project description released through the publication of invitation to tender or to pre-qualify, disclosure is restricted to the summary of the evaluation and comparison of bids. There are no requirements on disclosure of project information during contract execution or the post contract completion details.


For the pilot, three procuring entities participated in the disclosure process—the Northern Region Water Board, the Roads Authority, and Malawi Housing Corporation—and disclosed information from nine projects. In addition to these procuring entities, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi, Blantyre Water Board, and Lilongwe City Council participated in the baseline study. The Assurance findings showed that poor project management was the major contributing factor to poor workmanship, cost and time overruns.

The assurance team reports and the baseline study from the pilot can be downloaded below: 

The Multi-Stakeholder Group is now working with the Office of the Director of Public Procurement to include the CoST disclosure requirements in the public procurement regulations. 

With support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), CoST Malawi has published its second assurance report on 28 projects in the sectors of roads, water, housing and energy. 

CoST Malawi has also engaged policy makers during a business dinner organized to raise‘political’ support for its efforts also joined by Malawi MSG Chairperson and John Hawkins. Two principal secretaries from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) and Transport and Public Works have since requested for meetings to further discuss the CoST program. 


CoST Malawi is directed by a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) that comprises representatives from:
  • Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development, 
  • the National Audit Office, 
  • Accountant General, 
  • Director of Buildings, 
  • Anti-Corruption Bureau, 
  • Office of Director of Public Procurement, 
  • Malawi Building, Civil and Allied Trades Association
  • Malawi Economic Justice Network,
  • Human Rights Consultative Committee, 
  • Business Action Against Corruption, 
  • African Institute of Corporate Citizens.

It also uniquely has observers from donor organisations including the African Development Bank, and the World Bank.


Lyford Gideon
CoST Malawi Coordinator

Date Published: 27 April 2014
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