Ahead of the official launch of the Malawi Public Service Reform Program, Vice President Saulos Chilima has asked the nation to be responsible in their respective undertakings and prove that it is possible to develop Malawi and set it as a shining example of good governance.
The VP was speaking as a Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Champion Monday evening during the launch of the CoST website and his first assignment as Champion of the noble cause.
Right Honourable Chilima hinted that as a nation there is need to take responsibility of our own destiny and be accountable for the resources entrusted with and explained that as State President, Professor Peter Mutharika and his Cabinet are committed to ensuring that resources are properly managed to the benefit of the common citizen.
“I hope that respective governance structures, project implementing agencies and construction industry stakeholders will take this as an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Malawi can be a shining example of good governance and prove to ourselves that it is possible to develop our country.
“I am personally committed to ensure that reforms incorporate CoST principles so that disclosures are not only limited to procurement principles but cover the whole value chain of construction activities.
CoST’s core is the belief that the processes involved in the construction of public infrastructure must be made more transparent which in turn helps to create a more transparent sector that ultimately leads to better public infrastructure, offering potentially huge human benefits for individuals and communities across the world.
“CoST also contributes a great deal to the reduction of waste in public infrastructure budgets and enables fairer competition in the private sector and increased opportunities for investors.
“CoST is a catalyst for driving change in the way of doing business relating to construction projects in Malawi and as a change and governance program it resonates well with the current government’s drive to reform the Public Service and transform the nation as a whole into a more productive country.
CoST has been endorsed by several institutions and in Malawi Chilima observed that it is re-assuring to note that here in Malawi CoST is a multi-stakeholder group comprising the Office of the Director of Public Procurement ODPP, National Construction Industry Council NICC, National Audit Office, African Development Bank ADB, Association of Business Journalists, and Malawi Human Rights Commission, among many other stakeholders.
“Many organizations, both public and private, have endorsed the initiative because they have seen the value addition that the initiative brings in terms of effective delivery of infrastructure projects. These principles are best practices for anyone that wants to operate effectively.
As CoST champion, Chilima will be responsible in cracking the whip against corruption and fraud in taxpayer-funded projects.
CoST is a new globally acclaimed initiative bent on ensuring greater transparency and accountability in giving value for public money in projects, including the construction of roads, bridges, schools and markets.
A CoST champion is a respected person of good standing in society who also wields enough political power and oversight to block or takes to task those found flouting tender and other accountability procedures.
Late Bingu wa Mutharika appointed then Economic and Planning Development Minister Abbie Shaba as the first CoST champion in Malawi in 2010 but the appointment did not last long and the was silently position scrapped off.