Reporting standard aims to save trillions and drive out corruption

18 October 2012

A new reporting protocol to improve transparency and efficiency and drive out corruption across publically funded projects around the world is being launched on Monday (20 October) in London.

The Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) is funded by the World Bank, the Department for International Development and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and 17 other organisations across the public, private and civil society sectors have pledged their support for the programme, including eight governments and ONE, the  poverty charity backed by U2 frontman Bono. CoST is working in partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) on the launch. The launch comes after three-year trial on projects around the globe, including roads, healthcare and education schemes in the UK. It is understood the government is committed to implementing it.

Speakers at the launch next week include Paul Kett, director, Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice and co-chair of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, and Geoff French – president of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and vice-president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

A spokesman for the ICE said that CoST had developed a type of datasheet showing where different aspects of the money had been spent which could be applied to projects across the world in a standard way. The sort of information that would be disclosed by the owner of the information – the client – would include the cost of the project and how this might have changed from initial proposals.

CoST has said: “Improvements in transparency and accountability can help reduce corruption, which is a major barrier to poverty reduction. Global construction is likely to grow to 70% from $7.2m trillion today to $412 trillion by 2020. Potential savings through reducing corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency could be around $2.5 trillion annually by then.”

Coming clean on costs: Comment by Bob McKittrick


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