In October CoST El Salvador launched the ‘Single Information System on Public Infrastructure’ (SUIP), an online platform which will allow Salvadoran citizens access to clear and concise data on public infrastructure projects. By presenting information online through the platform, citizens can better understand how public money is being spent and be empowered to hold decision makers to account.
CoST El Salvador launches online disclosure platformThe SUIP, supported by the British Embassy in El Salvador, follows on from a Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year between CoST El Salvador and the Institute for Access to Public Information (IAPI) focused on furthering good practice in the implementation of public infrastructure projects using the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard.
The SUIP was designed primarily with ordinary citizens in mind. It presents information in a clear and accessible format and uses cloud technology to ensure that information is securely stored. In February it will be accessible via the website of the IAPI and will be accompanied by disclosure regulation guidelines which will make it obligatory for Procuring Entities to disclose information.
To further ensure that Procuring Entities and the Government engage with and feel confident in using the platform, CoST El Salvador and the IAPI will support them through training and by providing resources over the coming months. And to enable citizens to understand the information disclosed, CoST El Salvador is preparing social accountability activities to make sure information interpreted by CoST El Salvador reaches citizens.
Once the platform has gathered sufficient data, it will be assessed within CoST El Salvador’s next Assurance Report. The Assurance Process is one of CoST’s core features and focuses on interpreting, validating and raising issues of concern on the data disclosed. CoST El Salvador will then disseminate the report and its recommendations among key stakeholders, namely, the Government and civil society and the media at a public launch so that issues are raised in the public domain.
Whilst focusing on information disclosure from infrastructure projects, the platform is an excellent basis for other sectors. It has been developed using a flexible design which can be built upon in the future, so that eventually information from other sectors can be captured and accessed through one central portal.
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