Basel Institute, OECD and Colombia sign cooperation agreement on a High Level Reporting Mechanism for procurement related to Bogotá’s First Metro Line

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The Basel Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate with Colombian authorities to adapt and apply a High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) to prevent corruption and promote fair competition in tenders related to the building of the City of Bogotá’s First Metro Line.  The signing ceremony held on 6 August 2018 in Bogotá was one of the final acts by Colombia’s outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos on his last day in office and the day that marked the 280th anniversary of the founding of Bogotá.

The MoU was also signed by Bogotá Mayor Enrique Leñalosa Londońo, Mr. Andrés Escobar Uribe, General Manager of the Bogotá Metro Company, S.A., Mr. Nicola Bonucci, Director of Legal Affairs of the OECD and Mr. Oscar Solorzano, the Basel Institute’s head of Latin America Projects and Peru Country Manager on behalf of Prof. Mark Pieth, President of the Basel Institute Foundation Board.

The signing of this MoU was concurrent with the signing of credit agreements between the Colombian government and the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, and European Investment Bank who are providing financing for this major public project and the launching of the tender process for Bogotá’s First Metro Line.

Colombia was the first country to develop and implement an HLRM as a tool to address and respond to complaints of bribery solicitation or unfair business practices that might occur during public tenders. Former President Santos supported the creation of an HLRM in 2013 to be overseen by Colombia’s Transparency Secretariat, a high-level authority in the President’s office charged with fighting corruption and enhancing transparency.  To date, Colombia’s HLRM has been active to oversee tenders in major roads and other infrastructure projects. 

The HLRM concept was jointly developed by the Basel Institute, OECD, and Transparency International in response to private sector concerns over the absence of quick and effective mechanisms for addressing bribe solicitation by some public officials in certain markets.

Pursuant to the MoU, the Basel Institute, OECD, Colombian authorities, and Bogotá Metro company will collaborate through technical assistance, exchange of experience and information, and other activities to ensure the effectiveness of the application of the HLRM to this project. 

The Basel Institute looks forward to continuing its strong collaboration with the Colombian government under President Iván Duque to further strengthen and promote the HLRM to this and other projects.

The full text of the MoU is available in English and Spanish.