Day 4 of #AssuranceWeek2019: In El Salvador, time and cost overruns lead to $6.4 million bill for taxpayers

CoST El Salvador publishes its Third Assurance Report today, which evaluates 14 projects across the country. The report shows a strong overall disclosure rate of 73.5%, which maintains the disclosure levels of its Second Assurance Report  and indicates positive attitudes towards CoST are becoming embedded within procuring entities. However, it also raises concerns over time and cost overruns: for example cost increases have totalled US $6.4 million across the projects.

The report focusses on infrastructure projects from transport, energy, education and health sectors. They have a combined value of US $300 million and were evaluated based on the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard, which has been adapted to the El Salvadoran context and which requires 79 key data points (or items) to be disclosed across the infrastructure project cycle. Such items include execution times, bidding processes, environmental impact studies, financing sources and construction costs.

In addition to the time and cost overruns mentioned above, the report also raises questions over levels of competition in the tender process. The average tender process took three months, with an average of just three procuring entities participating in each process. The report makes recommendations to tackle this issue and increase competition at this stage, which should result in more efficient and better managed projects overall. The report also recommends increasing disclosure rates further and making this information easily available to social accountability stakeholders such as the media, which will increase accountability throughout the whole of the infrastructure project cycle.

CoST El Salvador will be promoting its assurance report with a series of media events from 9.30am CST (3.30pm GMT). Follow us on @CoSTransparency for updates.