Thailand and UK create anti-corruption initiative

The British Embassy in Bangkok and Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Office have co-hosted a seminar on the Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) Initiative.

Over 100 participants from government agencies and state-owned enterprises attended the event.

Last year Thailand signed up to become the 14th member country of CoST, a global initiative to reduce corruption in the construction industry, and will implement CoST’s international standards in public construction projects.

A photo of a CoST seminar

The British Embassy in Bangkok has since invited the CoST International Secretariat to conduct capacity workshops in Thailand.

Workshops took place this month, which aim to bolster Thailand’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which comprises of representatives from the government, private sector and civil society and the Airports of Thailand on its pilot project under CoST standard.

Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, said: "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% 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."

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