The UK Launch of the CoST International Programme was held in London on Monday 22 October. Around 60 people attended the over-subscribed event, and keynote speakers included Paul Kett, Co-Chair of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group; Geoff French, President of FIDIC; and Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of ONE.
The result was a fascinating mix of perspectives on CoST, coming from the three key areas of government, industry and civil society. The ensuing debate, led by Chair of the CoST Board, Christiaan Poortman, encouraged lively discussion between the panel and the audience.
The overriding message from the event was agreement on the importance of and the need for CoST. The initiative fits with an increasing emphasis on transparency on an international level, and on the positive outcomes that this can deliver. As well as enabling potential savings of up to $2.5trn by 2020, CoST can have a great impact on development too – particularly where the savings can be used to invest in other areas. From an industry point of view, CoST can help to reduce corruption by opening up the processes and making them fully accountable.
There was an appetite from all three sectors to work closely together, to ensure that CoST is embedded within countries, supporting better infrastructure through openness and accountability. Christiaan Poortman said: ‘We look forward to continuing to work with partners across the sectors as CoST moves forward, and as more countries are able to benefit from this important initiative.’