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PUBLICATION – FINAL REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTEGRITY PACT TO MONITOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RIGA TRAMLINE INFRASTRUCTURE

Transparency International Latvia has published the final report summarising the implementation, between 2016 and 2020, of the Integrity Pacts (IPs) to monitor procurements for the development of the tramline infrastructure in Riga. The report includes a summary of the various steps of implementation of the Integrity Pacts, with an emphasis on the impacts of the project as well as lessons learned in terms of procurement monitoring, communication and citizen engagement.

The project for the development of the Riga tramline, implemented by the municipal enterprise Riga Traffic, sought to improve access to public transport and foster development in the Skanste district north-west of Riga. With a funding of €97 million (around 70% of this amount coming from the EU Cohesion Funds), it was initially expected to run until 2023. However, it was terminated in May 2019 due to bad governance and unacceptably high corruption risks, made evident by the exposure of a corruption case involving Riga traffic for procurements taking place between 2013 and 2016.

As shown in the report, the implementation of the IP to monitor procurements for the development of the tramline infrastructure in Riga, brought positive results, including identification and resolution of irregularities in the procurement process, increased transparency and access to information related to the tender process as well as increased quality of tender documentation.

At the same time, a number of complicating factors, including tensions and civic opposition surrounding the planned location of the tramline, the politicisation of the IP project and the corruption case involving Riga Traffic, provided important lessons for the design and implementation of future IPs to monitor infrastructure projects in the country. In specific, these will need to take account the need for involvement of affected communities and monitoring by civil society already in the project planning phase rather than later at the tender phase, as envisaged by the traditional IP model.

To prevent the emergence of similar problems in the governance of infrastructure in the country, TI Latvia calls for:

i) mandatory involvement of independent experts in high-value infrastructure projects;
ii) implementation of international open data standards covering the whole project implementation cycle; and
iii) smarter involvement of civil society through the establishment of platforms bringing together demand for and supply of procurement monitoring expertise, and the application of the IP model for infrastructure, developed by Transparency International in 2018.

As a follow-up to the project, in the framework of the 4th National Open Government Partnership Action Plan, TI Latvia is cooperating with the Procurement Monitoring Bureau to improve civil society monitoring of EU-funded project in Latvia’s municipalities.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT 

 

This publication was developed under the framework of the “Integrity Pact – Civil Control Mechanism for Safeguarding EU Funds” project funded by the European Commission.

 

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