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

Project PhaseData to be disclosedGuidance
Project ownerName of the sponsoring Government department
SectorDevelop a list of sectors relevant to country e.g. housing, transport, energy, water etc.
SubsectorDevelop a subset for each sector e.g. Transport could be subdivided into national highway, local road, railway, port, airport etc
Project Identification
Project nameSpecify the project name
Project LocationBriefly specify location of the project
PurposeSpecify the socio- economic purpose of the project
Project descriptionConcise description and details of the project
Project Scope (main output)Main outputs from the project that are being taken forward into construction (type, quantity, unit)
Environmental impactBriefly describe the environmental impacts and mitigation measures for this project e.g. impacts on flora, fauna & woodlands, areas of natural beauty, carbon emissions etc. and mitigation measures e.g. pollution control, low carbon solutions, sustainable timber etc.
Land and settlement impactState the amount of land and property that was acquired for the project e.g. 25km2 land, and related impacts e.g. archaeological issues (moved saxon burial site), local/indigenous settlements (relocated 5 indigenous villages of 500 villagers each), impacts on local businesses e.g. (30 business properties purchased).
Project preparation
Contact detailsPostal and electronic address of the Project Owner
Funding sourcesName the funding organisation(s)/sources of funding
Project BudgetSpecify the projected costs/allocated budget for the project (currency and amount). The budget includes land / property acquisition, environmental mitigation measures, H&S provisions, client, consultant & contractor costs, VAT etc.
Project budget approval dateDate project budget was authorised
Project status (current)The current stage of the project. Select from identification, preparation, construction or completed
Project Completion
Project completion) costState projected or actual completion cost (currency and amount)
Completion dateState projected or actual completion date
Project Scope at completion (projected)Indicate projected or actual scope of project. Aim is to show if the completed project scope differs from the original project scope. Specify main outputs (type, quantity, unit)
Reasons for project changesSummary of primary reasons for any changes in scope, time and cost
Reference to audit and evaluation reportsReference to publicly available technical and financial audits
Contract phase
Procuring entityEnter name of the organization carrying out the procurement
Procuring entity contact detailsPostal and Electronic address
Contract administrative entityEnter name of the organisation carrying out the contract administrative entity if different from the Procuring Entity
Contract statusSelect from pre-award, active or closed
Procurement processDevelop a list such as International Competitive Bidding, National Competitive Bidding, Donor Procurement Rules, Framework, Direct Award
Contract typeDevelop a list such as Design, Supervision, Design & Supervision, Design & Build, Construction
Number of firms tenderingNumber of firms who submit a tender
Cost estimateCurrency and amount of the original pre-tender estimate of the contract
Contract titleThe formal name of the contract
Contract firm(s)Legal name of supplier
Contract priceCurrency and price at contract award
Contract scope of workMain outputs from the contract e.g. detailed design, supervision, project management and or type, quantity, unit for construction
Contract start date and contract period (duration)Enter dates and Number of weeks from contract start date to (anticipated) completion date
Variation to contract durationDifference between original duration at contract award and the current projected duration in weeks.
Escalation of contract priceEscalation to date of the price of materials, labour, equipment etc. due to fluctuations in inflation, currency etc.
Variation to contract priceDifference between the price at contract award and the current projected price