UK will be among seven countries involved in a pilot scheme to improve transparency in public sector construction

An international initiative to reduce corruption in public sector construction projects is being piloted in seven countries.

The UK, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi, the Philippines and Vietnam will take part in the Construction Sector Transparency initiative, an international partnership scheme that aims to improve accountability in the sector and is supported by the Department for International Development and the World Bank. Corruption is estimated to cost society $400bn a year and often results in dangerous and defective building.

A three-month public consultation, to be launched today, will inform public sector clients - including the Highways Agency and Environmental Agency - industry and stakeholders about the initiative and seek their view on the UK pilot.

Bob McKittrick, chair of the multi-stakeholder group leading the pilot in the UK, said: “The UK is leading by example by piloting the scheme on several public projects, the outcomes of which will influence the international design of the initiative. It is about applying a 'get what you paid for' policy to publicly funded projects in order to improve the quality, cost and expediency of delivery.”