Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Costa Rica Say No More Projects with UNOPS

The controversy generated by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) decision to prevent access to files on the road works for which it is responsible has led the government of Costa Rica to refrain from granting new projects in the future.

The work on the new bridge over the river Virilla in Lindora and expansion of the radial that started in May, and expected to ready between May and June 2018, is not affected by the MOPT’s decision to no more projects with the UNOPS

Possibly as a result of the refusal of the UNOPS to make public the project files and the subsequent cancellation of contracts by the Comptroller General, the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT) has decided not to continue with the assistance of the international organization in future projects.

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Guiselle Alfaro, Vice Minister of Infrastructure of the MOPT, told Nacion.com 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’.”

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 our technical support’… “.

The UNOPS, founded in 1973, is an operational arm of the United Nations, dedicated to implementing projects for the United Nations System, international financial institutions, governments and other partners around the world.

Currently, the UNOPS is involved in three projects in Costa Rica: the bridge of the Virilla river in Tibas, known as the Saprissa bridge; the Garantia Sociales rotonda reconstruction; and the construction of a parallel bridge over the Virilla river in Santa Ana and Radial de Lindora Road Expansion. The first two projects have been suspended by the Comptroller’s office, the Santa Ana/Lindora project is continuing.

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In September 2017, the UNOPS responded to media coverage regarding operations and legal status in Costa Rica.

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