Use of performance based contracting for road maintenance works in Ghana

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Road authorities always strive to reduce the maintenance costs of the road infrastructure system by using various traditional methods of contracting. Due to the emerging problems faced by road agencies in controlling the quality of maintenance works and the management of time and cost related to various traditional methods of contracting, some road agencies worldwide have started to consider alternative solution to the problem. In the light of the above, this research aimed at identifying the expected benefits and challenges of implementing a Performance Based Contracting for Road Maintenance works in Ghana. The specific objectives were therefore to identify the expected benefits, implementation challenges and routine maintenance activities that are capable of being implemented easily using Performance Based Contracting. Samples of road maintenance administrators within the urban road network who are directly involved in the procurement of maintenance works, were surveyed using structured questionnaires. The factors identified were ranked by respondents and the data was analysed using one sample t-test, relative importance index and One-way Anova. The analysis identified cost savings, improved control and enforcement of quality standards and enhancement of expenditure certainty as the most significant benefits of using Performance Based Contracting. Allocation of risk to the party that is able to manage them, Fear of losing job, and the design of incentive payment schemes were found to be the most significant challenges with regards to the implementation of the Performance Based Contracting method. Finally, cleaning of drainage structures/kerbs, desilting works, green area maintenance and potholes patching were identified to be the routine maintenance activities that can easily be implemented using Performance Based Contracting. As noted throughout the study, the implementation of PBC on many road maintenance projects has yielded the desired results leading to some extent as high as 40% cost savings. Cost savings, enhancement of quality standards, expenditure certainty and other significant benefits identified are potential benefits that the road agencies and the country as a whole stand to gain if PBC is implemented. The prospects of implementing PBC are therefore very high for road agencies and the country as a whole and far outweigh the surmountable implementation challenges. This research is therefore recommending that legal and regulatory frame work by way of standard bidding documents be put in place so that routine maintenance activities will be awarded using this contracting method as a piloting process. Steps should also be put in place to enable staff of the various road agencies to acquire new skills for the successful implementation of this contracting method.
A dissertation submitted to the Department Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Procurement Management,
Performance-Based Contracting, Road Maintenance works, Routine maintenance, Benefits and Challenges