Ministry of Transport and Public Works says the construction disclosure portal will bring transparency and reduce suspicions of corruption as information to do with projects will be in the public domain.
The disclosure portal, launched in Lilongwe on Tuesday, is a user-friendly platform which will enable procuring entities to disseminate information to all stakeholders at a click of the country’s map via the platform.
The portal is an initiative of the Construction Sector Transparency initiative (CoST)—an initiative put in place globally to raise and enforce transparency in the construction sector.
The system will make public information concerning public construction projects, how contracts are awarded, how much they will cost and the duration.
In an interview in Lilongwe, the ministry’s principal secretary Francis Chinsinga said the portal has come at the right time when Malawians are demanding transparency in all sectors, including construction.
“The design and construction of infrastructure is a major business both locally and globally. Apart from significant yearly fiscal allocations from government, the construction sector also receives high levels of foreign direct investment, in addition to international aid.
“This is why there is need for more transparency in this sector and Cost, through the portal, will compel procuring entities to disclose information to do with projects,” he said.
National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) chief executive officer Linda Phiri said through the portal, procuring entities will be able to disclose various public infrastructure development projects under their jurisdiction.
“The disclosure will not only allow procuring entities to comply with the law, but it will also encourage good practice within their operations while enhancing citizen participation in the whole process,” she said.
In an interview, Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said disclosure is important for monitoring since money that goes into construction sector is huge.
“The construction sector consumes a lot of money and most of the times the resources come from loans. With this disclosure portal in place where all the information will be made available about projects, then people will be able to question.
“Currently, Malawians have difficulties to query certain development projects because they lack information but with this portal in place we can easily ask those responsible,” he said.
CoST International has spent K20 million for the establishment of the portal.