Learning from South Korea in enhancing transparency in public construction

UNDP Bhutan
2 min readJan 11, 2024

Modelled on Seoul Metropolitan City’s acclaimed Clean Construction System, Bhutan’s new digital Construction Manager Software is expected to transform its construction sector.

Photo: UNDP Bhutan/Norbu Choksum Zangmo

Bhutan is all set to roll out a new, cloud-based Construction Manager Software (CMS), an initiative UNDP supported in partnership with UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Inspired by South Korea’s Clean Construction System (CCS), the new system is designed to transform Bhutan’s construction sector.

CCS has helped address systemic challenges, such as limited information disclosure, inefficient management of the construction sector and unclear construction administration. In 2013, two years after its launch, the system bagged UN Public Service Award, a prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.

Bhutan’s CMS seeks to do what CCS did in South Korea. Complex and lengthy processes and lack of accountability are some of the challenges confronting the country’s construction industry. The existing CMS has not been able to adequately address these challenges. Therefore, the new system is timely and is expected to transform the construction industry by enhancing access to information, transparency, and accountability.

Photo: UNDP Bhutan/Norbu Choksum Zangmo

In preparation for the CMS’s launch soon, UNDP supported Training of Trainers (ToTs) for the system. Some 50 civil engineers from four districts have been trained to use the system.

“Providing clear audit trail of projects, assisting in bid evaluation, and facilitating decision making at various stages of contract administration are some of the ways in which the new CMS will help to enhance transparency in the construction industry”, said Diwakar Lama, master trainer from MoIT

Photo: UNDP Bhutan/Norbu Choksum Zangmo

Kuenzang Dendup, Deputy Executive Civil Engineer with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MoIT) was among the engineers who attended the ToT. “The digitalization of the CMS will help streamline project management, increase accuracy by reducing errors, improve communication related to deadlines, and provide real-time access to project data and documents.”

“The construction industry is vulnerable to corruption, and this has a direct bearing on the quality of infrastructure. The CMS will play a pivotal role in reducing risks of corruption,” said Rinchen Chophel, another Deputy Executive Engineer with MoIT.

UNDP’s support to the development of the CMS builds on our partnership with government aimed at accelerating digital transformation.

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UNDP Bhutan

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