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.