CoST is a voluntary initiative which is relevant to any country and any government department or agency with responsibility for public infrastructure projects. CoST's principles reflect a shared stakeholder commitment to transparency and accountability:
- Governments are responsible for providing reliable, safe infrastructure
Public sector infrastructure should support sustainable economic growth and development. Mismanagement or corruption in infrastructure undermines social and economic benefits.
- Governments should be accountable
Citizens have a right to know that their money is being used wisely. Public infrastructure projects should be sufficiently transparent for government to be held accountable.
- Transparency improves governance
Public disclosure of information during the entire project cycle can provide an effective way to improve value for money in infrastructure by reducing opportunities for corruption and increasing scrutiny.
- Transparency promotes investor confidence
Transparency in the management of public infrastructure projects is likely to increase domestic and foreign direct investment.
- Multi-stakeholder cooperation reflects shared interest and responsibility
Multi-stakeholder working between the government, the private sector and civil society improves transparency and builds confidence as all opinions are taken into account.