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Views sought on how to cut waste and corruption

The construction industry is being called on to help shape an international transparency initiative designed to cut waste and corruption in public sector construction projects.

The Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) is an international partnership scheme supported by the Department for International Development and the World Bank.

It aims to tackle corruption by promoting transparency and accountability in the sector and is currently being piloted in seven countries, including the UK.

A three-month public consultation process launched this week will seek industry views on the UK Pilot.

“It is about applying a ‘get what you paid for’ policy to publicly funded projects.”

Bob McKittrick, former Scott Wilson chairman

Trade and development minister Gareth Thomas said billions of pounds are lost annually in the global construction sector as a result of corruption, often leading to poor quality buildings and compromised safety standards.

“The CoST project will help us learn from our own construction sector how to increase transparency in the industry and how that can be applied in the UK and in developing countries.

“This consultation is an opportunity for the public to give their views on infrastructure and find out more about how Government construction contracts work,” he said.

Former Scott Wilson chairman Bob McKittrick is leading the pilot in the UK. He said: “The outcomes of the UK pilot will influence the international design of the initiative. It is about applying a ‘get what you paid for’ policy to publicly funded projects in order to improve the quality, cost and expediency of delivery.”

The UK pilot involves several public sector clients such as the Highways Agency and the Environment Agency.

The ICE is managing the UK CoST pilot on behalf of the multi-stakeholders group.

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