Costa Rica: No More Projects with UNOPS

The controversy generated by the UNOPS's decision to prevent access to files on the road works for which it is responsible has led the government to refrain from granting new projects in the future.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Possibly as a result of the refusal of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to make public the project files and the subsequent cancellation of contracts by the Comptroller General, the Ministry of Public Works has decided not to continue with the assistance of the international organization in future projects.

See: " The cost of hiding information about public works "

Guiselle Alfaro, Vice Minister of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, told that " ... 'there are no more projects with UNOPS, they will collaborate (in the future) as nothing more than technical support with a group of professionals who do not provide us with the Civil Service'."

See also: "More Bureaucracy, but International"

For his part, the director of UNOPS in Costa Rica, Alejandro Rossi, affirmed that they are " ..." evaluating a possible change of model where the UNOPS assistance is pure technical assistance without the tender processes being developed under UNOPS norms, but under Costa Rican standards with the our technical support'... ".

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More on this topic

Controversy Over Enlargement of Road to Limón

March 2018

While the concessionaire in charge of the work announces that it plans to subcontract a Costa Rican construction company for part of the project, the Ministry of Public Works states that it has not been notified.

The remaining stretch of the 107 kilometers comprising the project in its entirety, between the junction of Rio Frio and Matina, will be built by the project concessionaire, China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. 

The Cost of Hiding Information About Public Works

December 2017

In Costa Rica, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic decided to cancel the contracts for two UNOPS road construction projects, after it decided to keep secret the files with the details of these contracts.

The decision by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to hide the details of the contracts for the two road construction projects assigned to it by the National Road Council (Conavo) cost state coffers dearly. 

More Bureaucracy, but International

September 2017

The Government of Guatemala plans to delegate to the United Nations Office for Project Services the supervision and execution of road works valued at more than $500 million.

The fate of road projects essential for the development of Guatemala could be as bad as some of those in Costa Rica, which have also been delegated to the United Nations Office of Projects (UNOPS). See "Challenges to the work of UNOPS".

Challenges to the Work of UNOPS

September 2017

"After two years the results are not the expected and, in fact, delays in the projects correspond to the typical obstructions and slow management that we are used to with public entities."


The actions of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) never cease to amaze. Its representatives in the country not only set out an impossible series of obstacles when the Comptroller General of the Republic requested to review the file on the contract for the new bridge over the Virilla River, on route 32, but now, a week after the request was made, UNOPS is ignoring the Comptroller's order. The entity had established a period of 24 hours for the delivery of the information. 

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