By Bester Kayaye
The Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) has introduced a digital portal that is expected to strengthen transparency and accountability in the construction industry by publishing contractors’ infrastructure data standards for public financed infrastructure projects.
According to CoST Programmes Officer, Kenneth Msiska, the Information Platform for Public Infrastructure the portal will give the citizenry and construction industry stakeholders access to up-to-date information on various construction developments undertakings across the country.
Msiska said the initiative resonates with the new Malawi Public Procurement Act which mandates disclosure of CoST Infrastructure Data Standard for all public financed projects.
“The portal has been developed to increase citizen engagement in the public construction sector and to promote transparency and accountability of public resources.
“The platform allows for the publication of public infrastructure projects and contract information from the tender level to completion of the project,” he added.
The platform allows users to search for different projects by using the map where a click on district map outlines all projects in the specified district.
Msiska explained that portal provides duty bearers, within project implementation centres, the opportunity and responsibility to respond to the comments and queries raised by the public through the system.
“Public actors such as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the media, different interested stakeholders as well as the public have access to this data through the IPPI platform,” he said pointing out that people are also able to post feedback regarding the progress of such public-funded projects.
Among other provisions, the portal also publishes; basic project details such as the name of the project, the description, start date, end date, location, parties involved in the project as well as budget breakdown.
Funded by the European Union, the web based portal has been developed by the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC)/CoST, the infrastructure transparency initiative, acting under a consortium of Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and the African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC)/Integrity Platform (IP).