Overview of transparency in the construction sector
Vietnam MSG and Assurance Team discuss the interim pilot findingsTransparency requirements in the Vietnamese construction sector are mainly based on the Procurement Law published in November 2005. This provides for greater transparency in procurement procedures and fund management but only covers around 30% of the information CoST requires to be disclosed.
The ten procuring entities involved in the Vietnam pilot compiled and disclosed project information on a regular basis using a variety of media including the CoST website, sector and local newspapers, radio, and offices of project owners and local government. The Assurance Team (AT) assisted the procuring entities to compile and disclose information on 12 projects including roads, water supply, drainage and sanitation and port projects. It also assessed the current disclosure process, prepared revisions to the contents and methods of disclosure, and prepared a roadmap for the future—all of which give exceptional insights into the CoST process.
Following the pilot programme, CoST Vietnam received funding from DFID Vietnam for an eight month Bridging Phase (until November 2012) which enabled continued disclosure of project information on nine selected projects. It also provided the opportunity for the MSG to consult with potential procuring entities for the next phase of CoST i.e. the roll–out phase (RoP) and to prepare and submit Design Documents for Government and Donor approval.
The RoP was approved by the Ministry of Construction (MoC) in late April 2013 and submitted to DFID and World Bank Vietnam for continued support. The RoP phase is likely to begin in 2014 and continue for 3 years. Approximately 24 PE(s) from 5 sector ministries and 15 provinces across Vietnam will be added to the RoP. In total, information from 50 projects and 150 contract packages will be disclosed. The Demand side is also being strengthened in order to achieve greater accountability and better value for money.
Multi-stakeholder working is a relatively new concept in Vietnam and there was some difficulty in setting up the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) during the pilot. The MSG mostly comprises representatives from government and is chaired by a senior official from the Ministry of Construction. Industry is represented by the Vietnam contractors’ association and by the federation of construction, whilst civil society is represented by the Fatherland Front—which encompasses six mass organisations for women, youth, etc.
Phung van Quang
CoST Vietnam Coordinator