The Malawi Parliament has approved changes to the Public Procurement Act to introduce a legal mandate for disclosing data in the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard format. The first of its kind in Africa, the legislation will mean that all investment in public infrastructure will have to disclose data at each stage of the project cycle.
The mandate was made possible through lobbying by the CoST Multi-Stakeholder Group including engaging Parliamentary Committees, and the efforts of the Vice President and CoST Malawi Champion, Saulos Chilima who was central in pushing the legislation forward. It is envisaged that the amount of data disclosed to the public from public infrastructure will rapidly increase as a result of this new legislation.
CoST Malawi Chair Joe Ching’ani stated, ‘the legislation is an historic moment for our country as the public will soon have access to a large amount of data concerning how its taxes are spent on public infrastructure projects. CoST Malawi will now work with Government to build the capacity of its officials to implement the legislation.’
The Formal Disclosure Requirement (FDR) follows the high-profile recognition brought to CoST Malawi through its award at last year’s OGP summit for its dynamic civil society programme. This includes an SMS service that allows citizens to send messages about the issues of concern they identify with their local infrastructure.
CoST Malawi has also continued its cycle of visits to infrastructure project sites to monitor how these are working within CoST principles, and to make recommendations in cases where challenges have been observed.