CoST is spearheading international efforts by strengthening transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. We need this focus on transparency and accountability as it creates better value for everyone.
CoST is better value for governments because it demonstrates how public money is spent, identifies potential efficiency savings and complements reforms in the management of public finances and the procurement of infrastructure. In addition to developing transparency, CoST helps increase the flow of direct overseas investment into a country’s infrastructure sector.
CoST is better value for the private sector because it ensures a level playing field and reduces the costs and risks of doing business. This means that companies bidding for contracts can be confident that the process is taking place in a fair, open and competitive environment.
CoST is better value for communities because it ensures cost-effective delivery of improved infrastructure that changes lives. Communities gain access to work and markets through improved roads, clean drinking water, education in well-built schools and medical treatment in safe hospitals.
Since the launch of CoST in 2012, the initiative has achieved the following:
- Seven new countries: Afghanistan, Botswana, El Salvador, Honduras, Thailand, Uganda and Ukraine have joined CoST, which now spans four continents.
- S$8 million saved: Action taken on two projects created savings totalling US$8 million.
- Setting legal standards: CoST established Formal Disclosure Requirements in Ethiopia, Guatemala and Honduras. These provide a legal basis for the disclosure of data in accordance with the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard across the public sector.
- Scaling up disclosure: CoST has scaled up disclosure requirements, with Ethiopia, Guatemala and Honduras integrating CoST’s Infrastructure Data Standard into government systems. Guatemala is leading the way by disclosing data on over 3,000 projects via its e-procurement portal ‘Guatecompras’
- Disclosure training: National programmes are using enhanced e-procurement portals as a mechanism for disclosure in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras and the Philippines, with hundreds of government officials now trained on disclosure procedures.
- Reviewed 108 projects: The CoST assurance process has reviewed the disclosure of data on 108 projects, with reports published in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi and Vietnam.
- Preventing wasted funds: The Malawi national programme highlighted issues of concern to the public, leading to the retendering of two road contracts and preventing the wastage of public resources.
- Industry support: Bechtel, Strabag and Skanska, three of the top eight international construction contractors, are now CoST supporters.
- Public awareness: Media and civil society training has helped to build public awareness of cost increases and poor design on infrastructure projects in Ethiopia and Malawi.