Infrastructure data standard (IDS)

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CoST has developed a series of Guidance Notes that provide guidance on implementing its core features: multi-stakeholder working, disclosure and assurance. The guidance is intended to set out the key requirements, questions and steps that those responsible for developing a CoST programme need to consider.

Core to this aim is disclosing the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) into the public domain. The CoST Disclosure Process requires procuring entities to ensure that information about the purpose, scope, costs and execution of publicly-financed infrastructure projects is open and accessible to the public, and that it is disclosed in a timely manner. The data is intended to be sufficient to inform stakeholders about relevant aspects of the project in an understandable and useful way. However, the data derived from an infrastructure project is highly complex and technical, the need for a simplified standard to enable project implementers disclose project data.

Guidance Note 6 provides those procuring entities and Multi-Stakeholder Groups (MSGs) that lead a CoST programme with some guidelines for disclosing data in the IDS format. CoST provides an overall framework that we encourage to adapt to suit the local context. This Guidance Note is principally aimed at procuring entity officials who are tasked with collating the data to be disclosed. It will also be of use to stakeholders who wish to have a better understanding of the data that procuring entities will be disclosing.

The Guidance Note is divided into two sections. Section one provides guidance on the type of data that should be reported against each IDS indicator. Much of this data can then be manipulated and analyzed to identify common themes. It is important to have a consistent approach to entering the data to maximize the potential use of the information. There are then indicators where free text should be reported. The free text provides some context to the data such as the reasons for a cost increase. Please note that the contract data is completed for each of the key tier one contracts. Tier one contracts are the contracts between the project owner and his suppliers. Usually this will be the contracts for design, supervision and construction. Guidance notes can be found via

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