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Costa Rica Lags Behind in Infrastructure Development

Article Summary:

Recent data from the Comptroller General of the Republic shows that the transport sector is the most deficient in infrastructure development, compared to energy, health, and education, due to long procurement and construction processes.

Photo Credit: El Financiero

Original Article Text From El Financiero via Google Translate :

Transportation sector is the most deficient in infrastructure development

The Hill (1.7 miles) took longer to lift Garabito thermal plant, and construct the portion of the radial MAG – Universal required 93% of the time taken to develop the Hospital de Heredia.

The data show that the transport sector is the most deficient in infrastructure development, compared to energy, health and education, due to long procurement and construction processes, according to a study by the Comptroller General of the Republic published in his Report Annual 2011.

“In regard to recruitment delays and construction, it is noteworthy that the best performance he projects the energy and health initiatives that are relatively complex and expensive, while the worst results were observed in transport sector projects, regardless of their level of complexity and scale, ”
the document.

Among the projects analyzed (see table), are generally not able to meet deadlines estimated in the original contract and on average 1.89 times the required construction schedule.

No Government response
The Financial asked to talk with Acting Transport Minister, Luis Llach, but we just said that was assuming the position and could not speak on the subject, even while serving as deputy minister until last Monday.

The National Roads Authority (Conavi) indicated that Jose Luis Salas, current director of the entity, part of the consultations would serve once to review the report of the Comptroller, but at the end of this information there was no answer.

Luis Liberman, vice president and area manager of infrastructure, external consultations were highly specialized and directed us to the MOPT.

Poor planning and coordination
One of the most critical phases for transport infrastructure is the planning. Long contracting and construction processes are to be changed the terms of the contract and further delay the work.In addition, lack of clear procedures for the selection and prioritization of projects and it is evident the difficulty of coordination among public entities for expropriation and relocation services.

In addition to these variables has not been able to consolidate an effective form of public – private participation and experience with the grant was not successful.

For example, the granting of the Grain Terminal Puerto Caldera won and became operational in 2006, however, after 11 years have decided to concession the Terminal, has begun the construction phase. The delay is due to suspensions ordered by the Constitutional Court as he attempted an appeal and a constitutional motion filed by the National Association of Public Employees.

In addition, in 2008 and after notification of the votes of the Constitutional Court which reject the use and action mentioned, began a controversy related to the financial balance of the contract and the original project design, which finally ended in recently endorsed a contract modification by the Comptroller in the amount of $ 29.6 million.

“The indirect costs of postponing investments far exceed the direct costs of the few projects implemented,” stated the report.

What is missing?
Although the Comptroller General notes that the country has developmental disabilities of all types of infrastructure, repeatedly pointed out by international reports- , sectors such as energy and health are more advanced.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), for example, has a unit for monitoring contracts. He has implemented financial figures such as BOT and securitization.

For its part, the strategy followed by the Social Security Fund (CCSS) has involved the formulation of a plan of investment in infrastructure, equipment and hospital technology five-year (2009-2013) which allows an alignment between strategies, the portfolio projects and programs and operations of the organization.

Brake on development
The National Development Plan of the present Government indicates that the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) will invest in improved road infrastructure to make it more efficient and integrated in harmony with the environment, social equity and economic growth.

Part of the objectives is to complete the National Transport Plan, which recently took shape in late 2011, and the ordering of public transport in the greater metropolitan area, where the first proposal be known until mid-year.

The Comptroller noted that for the period 2011-2014, 17% of transportation sector targets show satisfactory progress, advancing 16.7% moderate, 5.6% with slight delay, 22.2% and critical delay 38.9% are scheduled for subsequent years.The MOPT told the comptroller that most of the development of the works will take place this year.

Link to Original Article:

From El Financiero

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