Applicability of Performance-Based Contracts for road maintenance in Uganda.
Kigenyi, Zaina Nakiganga
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This study assessed the applicability of performance-based contracts for road maintenance activities in Uganda. Specifically, to review the current forms of contracts currently used for road maintenance activities, to determine the effect of performance-based contracting on the maintenance of road infrastructure in Uganda and finally to establish the barriers to the successful implementation of PBCs for road maintenance in Uganda. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. The study employed a simple random sampling strategy in selecting 220 respondents from the three road maintenance agencies that include; UNRA, Ministry of Works and Uganda Road Fund. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study findings indicated the current forms of contracts currently used for road maintenance activities, it was noted that road maintenance services are carried out once in a while in Uganda and the level of satisfaction with road maintenance services wasn’t that satisfactory under the following contracts; framework contracts, labor-based contracts used for the simple routine works like grass cutting, cleaning drainages and finally admeasured contracts. Bid preparation, technical evaluation and performance monitoring had a strong positive relation with maintenance of road infrastructure (in terms of Road Quality and Traffic management). The barriers to the successful implementation of PBCs for road maintenance in Uganda, include; firstly, lack of highly qualified local contractors in a competitive market. Secondly, there is little commitment from higher levels towards road maintenance specifically. Thirdly, inadequate financial capacity to plan and manage PBCs in terms of the technical part, project management, etc. The study recommended that creating an enabling environment is the best way to ensure that the benefits of PBCs are enjoyed by all stakeholders through raising awareness among decision-makers about the inefficiencies of the road sector, especially regarding road maintenance, and consequently, the negative effects to the national economy. This could be done through a road sector study that will analyze the existing institutional, regulatory, financial, and technical framework as well as the bottlenecks that impede the effectiveness and efficiency of road maintenance. As far as the problem of insufficient funding from the government towards road maintenance is concerned, the government should give road user charges directly to the road fund for road maintenance activities on top of that it can use international financing institutions to fund some of the projects therefore it would be necessary to create an environment that favors these institutions, especially the social and environmental factors.