Lessons from Seoul: Strengthening transparency and accountability

Petter Matthews, Executive Director of CoST, was invited to deliver a keynote speech at an international workshop for public construction transparency organised by the UNDP, Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Taking place in Seoul, the workshop utilised the capital’s Clean Construction System (CCS) as an initial reference point before drawing best practice examples from CoST and other international actors.


The value of global construction output is expected to increase by US$8 trillion to reach US$17.5 trillion per annum by 2030, whilst the estimated value of losses through corruption ranges between 10 and 30 per cent. As keynote speaker, Petter Matthews discussed the reasons for losses on such an incredible scale and means of preventing them in the future. Drawing on tangible experiences from CoST, Petter presented a number of potential reforms for tackling corruption which focused on three key areas: the preoccupation with awarding contracts based on lowest price; improvements to project preparation; and the promotion of transparency and accountability.

Though the challenges outlined during the course of the workshop are enormous, so are the potential benefits. Better quality infrastructure and services improves lives, transforms economies and helps ensure that all citizens have a better life. Bringing together participants from more than 20 countries, including Government officials, civil society experts, private sector leaders, and international development partners, the workshop went beyond discussions on technical tools and provided an interactive forum in which to develop common values for transparency and public engagement. CoST will continue to work with the UNDP, Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share international lessons on developing transparency and accountability in the public construction sector.


Date Published: 2 February 2016
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