Every year trillions of dollars are wasted in the infrastructure sector due to corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. Since 2012, CoST has been working to address this issue and build stronger economies, better quality infrastructure, greater trust and a fairer playing field. To help further the impact of our work, at the 6th OGP Summit last week CoST held an exploratory workshop, Building Better and Open Infrastructure looking at the various routes for advancing the OGP process in different contexts through CoST membership.
Country representatives from Latin America, Central Asia, Europe and Africa came together to share experiences and find out more on the CoST approach and impact, and importantly how it could advance OGP action plans. A high-level panel joined the workshop to speak on this theme, including H.E. Yama Yari, Minister of Public Works, Afghanistan, Alfredo Cantero, President of the Honduras Transparency Commission, Aida Martinez, OGP Point of Contact and CoST Panama Country Manager and Tonu Basu, Thematic Lead for OGP.
The OGP principles which are particularly aligned with CoST include principles on transparency and technology, citizenship participation and accountability. During the panel Minister Cantero outlined the highly innovative approach CoST Honduras has taken to implement the initiative based on these principles and how the CoST experience in public contracting and citizenship participation has been referenced within Honduras OGP action plans for 2016-2018 and 2018-2020.
Similarly, Panama’s participation in CoST led to its first OGP Action Plan commitment on improving transparency in public infrastructure. The commitment was based on the importance of modernising the public procurement system according to OGP principles. In addition, technology has been used to enhance transparency in Panama through its online platform launched earlier this year.
By promoting transparency and accountability in infrastructure, significant impact has been seen in countries of operation on specific project outcomes and at the broader sectoral level. In Honduras for example, our work highlighted weaknesses on the construction of a major toll road in Honduras which would have been a significant burden to the public purse and which led to a new financial model for the toll-system being installed. And as outlined by H.E. Yama Yari during our workshop, in Afghanistan, our work has led to the creation of a new design unit established in the Ministry of Public Works likely to provide enormous cost savings.
If you weren’t able to attend the workshop but would like to find out more about CoST including our competitive process for joining the initiative by the end of the year, please email: email@example.com.