More Bureaucracy, but International

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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

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".

A proposal put forward by the Ministry of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing (CIV) of Guatemala is that the United Nations Program (UNDP) will be responsible for the execution and supervision of road renovation works estimated at more than $500 million.

See: "Local or International, Bureaucracy Does Not Pay for its Mistakes"

Julio Héctor Estrada, owner of the Minfin, explained that "... 85% of roads have reached the end of their useful life, representing 6,133 kilometers of road network. The plan is to strengthen the DGC and Covial, said the minister who hopes to strengthen the institutional capacity that there was in the 1980s, with elements such as improved supervision to ensure compliance with deadlines and quality of works." reports that "...The draft budget, in Article 71, gives authorization to the VIC so that via an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the process of execution of public investment can be improved. Estrada said that it is a question of transferring the contracting out of project management work to this agency and that it become a mechanism to avoid collusion between construction companies and project management companies."

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. 

Costa Rica: No More Projects with UNOPS

January 2018

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.

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.

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. 

Kafka Visits Costa Rica

June 2015

The country that once had the best institutions in Central America is now hiring an agency of the UN created to solve problems in countries lacking those institutions.


With full confidence, senior officials responsible for public infrastructure projects have justified the award of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), indicating that through this measure they will be able to sidestep the control exercised by the Comptroller General of the Republic over the award and performance of government contracts.

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