Quality assurance scheme in large public investment projects in Costa Rica
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Quality Assurance Schemes are implemented by governments due to the necessity to ensure quality in the decision-making process during the front-end phase of a project. Costa Rica is also beginning to implement such schemes in their management of public projects. This paper addresses the differences between the Norwegian, British and Costa Rican schemes. It also points out the criteria considered for the choice of concept and describes the different forms of financing in Costa Rica. Three methods were chosen: a review of literature for the three countries, review of official documentation in Costa Rica and 10 interviews with mainly senior public officials in Costa Rica, responsible of managing public investment projects. The results present that the Costa Rican scheme has both similarities and differences with the British than the Norwegian models, mainly with the forms of financing. The criteria for the choice of concept in the Costa Rican system include technical, financial, legal and environmental issues, among others. The financing of projects in Costa Rica depend on the kind of institution proposing them and if it requires public debt. Finally, some recommendations are suggested to improve the system, according to the knowledge gained from the theory and the conclusions from the interviews. This pilot study provides a starting point for authorities to maintain an ongoing research regarding management of public investment projects. Besides, the thesis presents how the scheme is currently working, setting foundations for further evaluations to develop a more robust system.