Anti-Corruption Summit: Now we need action not words
The Anti-Corruption Summit may be over but the work is only just beginning. CoST welcomes the Summit Communique’s acknowledgement that construction is “particularly vulnerable to corruption” and as part of the solution, participating countries have committed themselves to “making public contracting processes more transparent.” However ultimately, the usefulness or otherwise of the Summit will not be determined by speeches or communiques, but by the extent to which it helps to transform the lives of people through actions aimed at tackling corruption. Read our full statement here.
CoST Malawi workshops spark media demand for transparency
CoST Malawi recently held a series of training workshops aimed at reinforcing demand and supply of information on public infrastructure projects. With a focus on the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS), the workshops highlighted the data that government officials should disclose and how this disclosure can be used to demand accountability. The media have since built on this momentum to publicise key concerns within public infrastructure projects and launch calls for action amongst citizens and policy-makers alike. Read more here.
CoST Honduras agreement with transparency commissions fuels demand for citizen involvement
CoST Honduras has signed an agreement with 90 citizen transparency commissions to share information on infrastructure data and provide training on SISOCS, a subsystem of the national e-procurement portal.
Following a series of workshops in March, a group of Honduran citizens have joined forces to raise awareness of road maintenance works in their community and put pressure on the contracting authority and local policy-makers to deliver better value. Read more here.
CoST Ukraine works with government to develop disclosure system
CoST Ukraine provided a training event for government officials, in partnership with the World Bank. Prior to its involvement in CoST, reporting on public infrastructure delivery in Ukraine was undertaken but varied from region to region due to a lack of central structure and formal requirements.
The event highlighted that data in Ukraine is already relatively open, as well as reassuring government representatives that CoST is a helpful support to their work.
Advice and insights from government enabled CoST Ukraine to develop a revised disclosure template that will be easy to complete and can be analysed efficiently. Read more here.
CoST Country Managers: Working together to strengthen capacity
CoST Country Managers came together for a four-day training workshop in London to build capacity and support shared learning. Covering four continents, CoST Country Managers have a wealth of knowledge around both the best practices for and challenges of working with stakeholders to deliver better value from public infrastructure. The workshop sessions were therefore designed to provide guidance from the Secretariat, whilst facilitating the exchange of experiences across countries to develop new approaches. Read more here.
Blog: Costa Rican Vice Minister explains why the country needs CoST now
A significant decrease in infrastructure spending since the economic crisis of the 1980s has led to a huge infrastructure spending gap in Latin America. Costa Rica is acutely aware of the general lack of funds in this area and has identified CoST as an opportunity to improve this situation. The President is also spear-heading a wider drive towards transparency, which CoST can help to fulfil. Whilst corruption has not been seen as a major issue in Costa Rica, making better use of scarce funds and promoting greater private sector participation are key drivers. Read more here.
CoST and the Open Contracting Partnership join forces
CoST and the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) have worked together informally since 2012, contributing extensively to each other's strategic development. We have therefore cemented this partnership through a formal agreement to align relevant strands of work, amplify key messages and influence the global debate on transparency. The OCP’s guiding principles of open contracting and open data, together with CoST’s specific knowledge and assurance mechanisms for positive impact in public infrastructure, are a powerful combination. Read more here.
Monitoring performance to strengthen outputs globally
CoST's Performance Monitoring Policy came into effect on 1st April 2016 and ensures that national programmes are making progress towards implementing CoST standards, within CoST principles.
The policy sets out procedures to identify good performance and manage poor performance or non-compliance, as well as assisting those countries which find themselves in the midst of political instability or conflict. Read more here.