CoST Panama receives grant from Open Government Partnership to bolster procurement transparency

We’re pleased to announce that CoST Panama has received a grant of US $400,000 from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund is a joint initiative between OGP and the World Bank, designed to support activities that help to address implementation gaps in OGP action plans. Panama is currently implementing its third action plan, which focuses on education, water quality and public infrastructure transparency. CoST Panama’s work aligns closely with efforts to strengthen transparency and accountability in public infrastructure, and the grant will be used to further the programme’s activities.

The objective of the Multi-Donor Trust Fund award is to help government leaders and civil society stakeholders to identify obstacles to achieving action plan commitments, invest in resilient partnerships and find the right technical and adaptive solutions to overcoming them. They can also potentially be scaled up through larger government and non-government actions.

In Panama, the CoST core value of disclosure is seen as a key tool with which to address the country’s  commitment to infrastructure transparency, as specified in its 2017 – 2019 action plan. By increasing transparency and accountability through disclosure – as part of the complete CoST approach – the programme expects to see long-term improvements in cost savings, competition, corruption levels and overall inefficiencies in pubic sector investment.

OGP and World Bank teams have been in Panama this week to define the scope and activities of the project. It was agreed that the grant will be used to advance an open procurement strategy in public infrastructure, which will enhance both access and use of data on public procurement and contracting.

Responding to the announcement, CoST Latin America Regional Manager Manuel Gonzalez Caballero said:

‘’It’s excellent that CoST Panama has been recognised by the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for its efforts to enhance infrastructure transparency, in alignment with Panama’s OGP Action Plan. As procurement data becomes more open and accessible, we hope to see higher competition, increased accountability and better-quality projects which respond to the needs of the public’’.