Vietnam new disclosures and roll-out plan
The CoST Vietnam Bridging Phase was successfully completed at
the end of 2012. During this period, that marks the transition between the
pilot project and full roll-out of the programme, information was disclosed
from 9 projects consisting of 11 contract packages in CPC offices, newspapers,
the CoST Vietnam Website and local radio stations.
The new two stage assurance process was then applied for the
first time. The first stage draws general statistics which on this occasion
highlighted time overruns of between 17% and 200%. The assurance team stated
that the time overruns were mainly due to delays in land acquisition, delays in
approving designs and cost estimates and adverse weather conditions. Two of the
eleven projects were subject to detailed examination.
A 3 year roll-out programme has recently been submitted to the
Ministry of Construction for approval. Additionally, the Government of Vietnam
will revise legislation on public construction to include the CoST disclosure
requirements as part of CoST Vietnam's 3 year roll-out programme which is
expected to commence in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
Arup is the latest company to endorse CoST and its aims of
improving transparency and accountability in the construction sector. Dr Robert
Care Chair UK-MEA Region stated: "Arup is involved in many communities globally and within
each of these our aim is to shape a better world. As part of our commitment to
these communities we affirm the importance of Construction Sector
Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers,
consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional
Dr Care went on to emphasise that significant responsibility
lies with those who have influence over the future built environment. The work
of CoST goes a long way in bringing about much needed change for which Arup
extends support in order to make it happen.
The full list of CoST private sector supporters can be found here.
Tanzania Elects New MSG
CoST Tanzania held its 3rd AGM on 26th March in Dar es Salaam.
In addition to the CoST members, observers from Ministries of Works and Health,
USAID and TANROADS attended the event.
The Agenda for the AGM included the three year Sustainable
Strategic Action Plan (SSAP 2013-2015) which had the recommendations on the
future structure of CoST Tanzania, strategic objectives, activities to
implement the strategic objectives and the estimated costs; the audited
accounts for the Pilot Phase and the financial statement for the transition
phase; and the election of the MSG, the Chairperson and the Vice-chairperson.
The Internal Auditor General from the Ministry of Finance, Mr.
Mohamed Mtonga, officially opened the AGM. In his opening speech he observed
that the Government of Tanzania has established an independent office of the
Internal Auditor General, which is a great move to enhancing transparency and
accountability in the public sector. Mr. Mtonga commended the collaboration
between CoST Tanzania, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau
(PCCB), the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and the National
Construction Council (NCC) in fighting corruption and he officially announced
his office's application to become a member of CoST Tanzania.
Elections of the MSG were conducted during the AGM using the
‘weighted’ voting system. The permanent members in the MSG (PCCB, PPRA and NCC)
representing the public sector and four members from the Civil Society sector
were retained. The new MSG is as follows:
1. From Public Sector: NCC,
PPRA and PCCB , and National Audit Office (NAO)
2. From Civil Society: Architects
Association of Tanzania (AAT), Front for Development Initiatives in Africa
(ForDIA), Tanzania Civil Engineering Contractors Association (TACECA) and
Tanzania Mines and Construction Allied Workers Union (TAMICO).
3. From Private Sector: Mr. Golden
Kigolla, Mr. Kazungu Magili, Eng. Seif Kassanga and Arch. Jehad Abdallah
Arch. Jehad Abdallah was elected as the new Chairperson of the
MSG while Mr. Kazungu Magili was elected the Vice-chairperson.
The outgoing Chairperson Eng. Abdul Awadh thanked all who had
been involved with CoST for the last five years and for showing dedication to
fighting corruption through enhancing transparency.
to support CoST Ethiopia
The UK Department for International Development has agreed to
provide £100,000 in financial support to the CoST Ethiopia Programme.
The funding will enable the CoST Ethiopia Multi-Stakeholder
Group to increase the number of procuring entities disclosing information on to
the Public Procurement & Property Administration Agency website. A new
website has recently been developed as a partnership between the MSG and PPPAA.
The support was confirmed at a recent CoST Ethiopia General
Assembly held in Addis Ababa. Over 70 participants from across the
institutional spectrum attended the event. The participants agreed that CoST
Ethiopia will be established as an independent legal entity by Government
The Assembly was opened by CoST Champion HE Ali Suleiman,
Commissioner of Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Ato Bekure
Ketema, CoST Interim Board Member, provided the participants with an overview
of the new International Programme launched late last year.
The guests of honour, Ato. Tesfaye Ayele, World Bank Senior
Procurement Specialist and Morag Baird, DFID Infrastructure Advisor, also
addressed the Assembly. Both speakers commended the efforts that are being made
by both CoST Ethiopia and the International Secretariat and expressed their
readiness for further collaboration.
The CoST International Secretariat met with construction
stakeholders in Kiev recently to discuss the possibility of establishing a CoST
Ukraine national programme. The meetings were convened by the World Bank
country office and included representatives from government, industry and civil
Ukraine requires significant investment in its physical
infrastructure to help improve its business environment and create jobs.
Improvements to power, transportation and municipal service delivery are
amongst its key priorities.
Commenting on the meetings, CoST Executive Director Petter
Matthews said: “The people we met expressed a strong determination to improve
the efficiency of investments in infrastructure and ensure that it meets the
needs of citizens. We will be holding further discussions in the coming months
and hope that there will be a role for CoST in helping to meet the challenges.”
CoST’ guidance note published
A new guidance note has been published that provides information
on joining the CoST programme. It explains the purpose of a CoST national
programme and describes the steps that a country typically undertakes when
developing an application to join. The guidance note can be downloaded here.
interest from Latin American countries
There are urgent calls from within Latin America for improved transparency
and accountability throughout the region. This was the view of participants at
a CoST seminar co-hosted by EUROSOCIAL and CoST in London this month.
The half day event was attended by senior delegates from three
Latin American countries and included representatives from the Secretariat of
Transparency, the Attorney General's Office and Business Oversight Agency of
Colombia, the Attorney General's Office and Ministry of Justice of El Salvador,
and the Secretariat of Transparency of Ecuador. Also in attendance was a
representative from CEDDET, the public Spanish foundation that provides
technical assistance to EUROSOCIAL.
EUROSOCIAL works with Latin American governments on
anti-corruption policies, complaints and whistleblowing. The CoST event formed
a major part of EUROSOCIAL's visitor's programme to England and Sweden.
According to Isabel Roser, Senior Advisor on CSR at F.
Ceddet-Eurosocial Program (UE), CoST is a "pioneering" programme with
"the capacity to be one of the greatest inspirations for fighting
corruption". Eurosocial aims to work with CoST to create a strong
Euro-Latin-American knowledge network to increase transparency and
accountability and to fight corruption in Latin America.
to publish Anti-Corruption Report
The European Commission estimates that up to 120 billion euros
could be lost each year to corruption in the 27 Member States of the EU. This
was revealed by Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, during the
Second Regional Workshop on the EU Anti-Corruption Report held in Gothenburg in
The EU is planning to publish the first Anti-Corruption Report
in June 2013 and subsequent reports will be published every two years.
CoST Executive Director Petter Matthews attended the workshop in
Gothenburg. Speaking after the event he said: "Corruption is a problem
that affects both high and low income countries. We have always been clear that
transparency initiatives are as relevant amongst EU Member States as they are
in any part of world. We welcome the Anti-Corruption Report and are ready to
work with EU countries."
building support for PEs in Tanzania & Ethiopia
Procuring entities (PEs) in Ethiopia and Tanzania have recently
benefited from a programme of capacity building support, aimed at helping them
to disclose information as part of their CoST national programmes. Consultants
worked with PE staff to gather and analyse information and assess the
resources, policies and systems that will be required to mainstream information
disclosure systems. Six PEs were involved in the programme representing roads,
water, health and education sectors.
The programme was funded by a grant from Deutsche Gesellschaft
für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Reports on the work
will be published on the CoST website shortly.
Contracting Partnership consults on Principles
The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) convened a meeting in
London recently to discuss its draft ‘Open Contracting Principles’. The OCP
Steering Group invited a range of external participants to provide critical
feedback on the Principles and consider how and when they should be launched.
The need for the Principles was identified by a broad based
practitioners meeting that was held in South Africa in December 2012. They aim
to build on existing norms to create a transparent, accountable, and
participatory framework for contract formation, disclosure and monitoring.
Robert Hunja of the World Bank Institute has written a blog about the recent
OCP meeting which is available here.
The OCP Steering Group includes the World Bank Institute, GIZ,
CoST, Integrity Action, Transparency International, Oxfam America and the
Governments’ of Colombia and the Philippines.