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CoST comprises three core features which provide a global standard for transparency and accountability in the delivery of public infrastructure. This standard is flexible, allowing it to be applied in different political, economic, regulatory and social contexts.
The core features of CoST are:
1) Disclosure: CoST increases transparency by disclosing data on public infrastructure projects. Forty data points are disclosed at key stages throughout a project cycle, as set out in the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS). Ultimately, a national programme establishes a disclosure process for public infrastructure that is viable, sustainable and appropriate to local conditions and that can achieve a credible and substantial level of compliance.
2) Assurance: CoST promotes accountability through an independent review of the disclosed data. Through this assurance process, CoST validates technical data, interprets it into plain language and identifies issues of concern. This helps stakeholders to understand the main issues and acts as a basis for holding decision-makers accountable.
3) Multi-stakeholder working Group : In each country, CoST is directed by a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) that comprises representatives of government, private sector and civil society. By providing a neutral forum, CoST helps these key stakeholders pursue shared objectives to improve the value, efficiency and effectiveness of investment in public infrastructure.

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