Working to keep Portugal’s landmarks clean

Filed under - Integrity Pacts Programme

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In 2016 the European Commission teamed up with Transparency International to pilot the use of Integrity Pacts for 17 projects in 11 Member States, including Portugal, worth a total of over EUR 900 million. To find out more about each project click here.

The Directorate General of Cultural Heritage has a mission to safeguard and preserve Portugal’s important historical treasures. Amongst these treasures, the Alcobaça Monastery stands out as a wonderful example of Portuguese architecture. With areas of the structure dating back as far as the 12th Century, the site retains many of its medieval features. Careful restoration and preservation is therefore essential in order to safeguard the future of Alcobaça, which is also one of the most important and most influential Cistercian centres in the Iberian Peninsula. The Directorate’s role is to ensure that such significant site is managed and preserved, and that sustainable access is maintained for academics and the public alike. 

As a result of its unique history, the Monastery has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With large numbers of tourists making their way to Alcobaça, the works will help protect the intricate designs of the building for visitors, including the famous tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro commissioned by King Pedro I after the dramatic love story that would later inspire many poets and artists. The work is being overseen by the Directorate and is anticipated to cost around €1 million euros. In an effort to improve transparency and efficiency of the funding, the project will include an Integrity Pact. This is to ensure that best practice is promoted in these building works, and falls under the EU’s Integrity Pacts pilot project. This means that, amongst other measures, key information relating to the procurement should be made available to interested citizens.

The Directorate General of Cultural Heritage is the only public organisation in Portugal so far implementing an Integrity Pact. The Alcobaça Monastery project will therefore act as a case study and a tool that can be shared with other public institutions, and hopefully provide some benchmarks to take forward onto other public procurement. It is hoped that lessons learnt in the implementation of this project can be translated across to other publically funded works, in order to boost transparency and value for money.

Project details

  • Project: The Alcobaça Monastery, Portugal
  • Civil Society Monitor:
  • Contracting Authority: Directorate General of Cultural Heritage
  • Progress: Approved and in implementation phase


Country / Territory - Portugal   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Public procurement   
Tags - Public procurement   |   Integrity Pacts   |   portugal   

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