Last week, the National Construction Council (NCC) of Tanzania officially launched its leg of the multi-country joint-effort initiative, known as the Construction Sector transparency Initiative (CoST), with the aim of eliminating corruption in the Tanzania construction sector.
The CoST program presents the concepts of transparency and accountability to the construction sector, primarily through promoting the public disclosure of information in order to boost the accountability of the individual construction companies and of the general procuring bodies in the sector to provide fair costs for services rendered as well as good quality work in public-sector construction projects.
According to Kesogukewele Msita, the chief executive officer of the NCC, the construction sector is the global leader in terms of corruption and, for this reason, more concentrated efforts are required to control and find a solution to the growing problem.
In order to develop a solution, Tanzania has been working with the other countries that are also involved with the CoST project – including Zambia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, England and Malawi – in order to ensure that the transparency initiative program is a success.
“We are working with members from those countries,” said Msita, “and we expect that in two years we will have come up with a system of curbing corruption in the construction sector not only in Tanzania, but in other countries as well.”
The official ceremony for the launch of the initiative in Tanzania was held on November 20th in Dar es Salaam and was also attended by Hon. Sophia M. Simba, the Minister of State responsible for Good Governance, who said that the decision to introduce the CoST system in the country came after exhaustive research had been conducted concerning the regulatory system of the construction sector in Tanzania as well as of those from other countries involved in the project.
“Measures to enhance regulatory transparency have been adopted in many countries worldwide and Tanzania is equally doing so,” said Hon. Simba, “[Therefore] the government is committed to supporting and implementing CoST in Tanzania.”
In order to adhere to the stipulations of the CoST system, public authorities will be obligated both to publish and to justify their reasons for offering a contract to a particular construction company over another.
The publicizing of this information will not only reduce the amount of corruption in the sector, but will also help to avoid the duplication of initiatives.
To this end, the CoST project is expected to work closely with both the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and the National Audit office as well as with any other public or private initiatives that have been focused on the prevention and elimination of corruption for the purpose of creating a more stabilized and welcoming investment climate for those interested in potential opportunities within the sector.