The CoST International Programme was launched on Thursday 25 October at the Open Contracting Event in Johannesburg.
Over 100 participants heard from H.E. Commissioner Ali Sulaiman, Ethiopian Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Verónica Taracena, Secretary of Control and Transparency in Guatemala as to how CoST had benefited their respective countries. They also reaffirmed their respective Governments commitment to implementing CoST.
Chaired by Chrik Poortman, Chairman CoST Interim Board, the participants heard how the CoST Programme can be adapted to suit the circumstances in each country. In Ethiopia this had led to a cost saving of over $2m on a rural road in Southern Ethiopia whilst the CoST assurance process highlighted the inappropriate use of emergency procedures for selecting a contract in Guatemala. The contract was subsequently terminated.
Fellow speaker, Mr Bafana Ndendwa Chairman, Construction Industry Development Board Republic of South Africa confirmed plans “to build on the international knowledge gained to develop a South African CoST model as part of the effort to promote transparency and fair value in relation to public infrastructure contracts and to clean up the built environment sector.”
South Africa joins their fellow G20 country Mexico in expressing their interest in joining the current eight participating countries.
Organised by GIZ and the World Bank Institute, the Open Contracting Event aimed to frame, profile and position the issue of open contracting in the larger international debate and to develop the agenda and initial focus for the Open Contracting movement.
The Africa Launch followed the UK Launch which was held earlier in the week.