CoST: Maximising value for money of infrastructure projectsThe construction sector plays a vital role in supporting social and economic development. Yet it is consistently ranked - in both the developed and developing world - as one of the most corrupt areas of economic activity.
The costs of corruption in public-sector construction projects extend far beyond increased contract prices. Corruption can hinder a nation's social and economic development at grass-roots level by undermining the rule of law and hindering the growth of strong and accountable institutions on which sustained economic growth depends. Corruption can result in unnecessary, unsuitable, defective or dangerous projects and projects which are often subject to severe delays.
The Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) is an international multi-stakeholder initiative designed to increase transparency and accountability in the construction sector. By ensuring public disclosure of project information, it aims to enhance the accountability of procuring bodies and construction companies for the cost and quality of public-sector construction projects. The core concept of CoST is 'Get What You Pay For'. The 'You' in this context applies equally to national governments, affected stakeholders, and to the wider public.
The CoST programme was launched in October 2012
following a successful pilot in eight countries between 2008 and 2011.
EAP leads the International Secretariat for CoST and draws upon a number of part-time advisors from PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Integrity Action and The Communications Hub.