Ghulam Reza Merzaie, CoST Afghanistan
On 25th of February 2018, Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) Afghanistan signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with Ministry of Energy and Water and National Procurement Authority on information disclosure of publicly funded infrastructure projects. Based on the MoUs, the government agencies shall disclose information on publicly funded infrastructure projects based on the CoST Afghanistan data standards which include project identification, project preparation, procurement and project completion.
Mustafa Mastoor, Afghan Minister of Economy and CoST Afghanistan MSG Chairman, appreciated the willingness of the government agencies to support the initiative and stated that,” Based on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, Afghanistan is ranked as the fourth most corrupt country out of 180 countries. This indicates that corruption after poverty and insecurity is the third important constraints hindering economic development in the country. By signing these MoUs, the Afghan government is taking practical step to reverse this trend.”
Ali Ahmad Osmani, Minister of Energy and Water explained that “Transparency, accountability and public participation are core features of good governance. Disclosure of information and engaging public in infrastructure projects will help us to achieve this goal.” Mr. Elham Omar Hotaki, Director of General of National Procurement Authority (NPA), reiterated the commitment NPA made in 2014 while Afghanistan joined the initiative.
CoST Afghanistan signed separate MoUs with the Ministry of Public Works as well as Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in June 2017. The initiative will sign MoUs with Ministry of Urban Development and Kabul Municipality in near future. Integrity Watch is hosting the CoST Afghanistan since its becoming operational two years back.