The British Embassy Bangkok and Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) are working together to promote the Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative.
CoST is an international initiative aimed at making the processes involved in the construction of public infrastructure more transparent. The idea is that the public must be armed with the information needed to hold decision makers to account and to ensure better value for money in the construction sector.
This week, the Embassy and SEPO have co-hosted a seminar on the initiative, with more than 100 participants from government agencies and state-owned enterprises.
Airports of Thailand is currently running a pilot project under the CoST standard.
Last year Thailand signed up to become the 14th member country of CoST, committing to implement the international standards in public construction projects.
“I am delighted that Thailand has committed to implementing the CoST standard in Thailand’s construction projects,” said Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand. “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.”