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Thailand and the UK partnership in promoting Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative
The British Embassy Bangkok and the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) co-hosted a seminar on CoST.
The British Embassy Bangkok and the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) co-hosted a seminar on the Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative with more than 100 participants from government agencies and state-owned enterprises.
Last year Thailand signed up to become the 14th member country in March 2015 of CoST where it would implement CoST’s international standards in public construction projects. Following the success of the official launch of CoST in Thailand in March 2015, the British Embassy invited the CoST International Secretariat to conduct capacity workshops in Thailand to build capacity for Thailand’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which comprises of representatives from the government, private sector and civil society, and the Airport Authority of Thailand on its pilot project under CoST standard.
In February this year, the embassy invited the CoST International Secretariat to conduct a workshop for Thailand’s MSG committee to discuss the implementation of CoST in Thailand. Following the workshop for MSG committee, the seminar on 18 February was aimed for the state-enterprises and focused on building capacity for procuring entities.
Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, said during his opening speech:
I am delighted that Thailand has committed to implementing the CoST standard in Thailand’s construction projects. The Airport Authority of Thailand has been joining the CoST programme as its pilot project on the expansion of Suvannarbhumi Airport. However, it also requires a lot of work and collaboration from all stakeholders. And it is a challenging process, with construction and public works known to be one of the most corrupt business sectors, and Thailand is not alone on this. One study estimates that 10-30 percent of investment in public infrastructure could be lost through corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. In implementing CoST’s international standards to tackle those problems, Thailand needs to establish a disclosure and assurance system to enhance transparency in public construction projects. Such a system will help to inform and empower stakeholders, build trust in decision-making, help to ensure value for money, and send a clear message about Thailand’s commitment on transparency.
The seminar is one of the workshop series which aims to provide continued capacity building support to CoST programme implementators in Thailand. The implementators are the newly establish MSG, who is responsible for setting policy and standards for the CoST Programme in Thailand, state enterprise agencies and procuring entities who will be responsible for information disclosure of construction projects and reporting.
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