Analyzing contractor procurement criteria as a key factor in the successful completion of road construction projects in Uganda
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The construction sector is one of the key economic sectors in Uganda. It has experienced considerable growth in construction activities especially in Kampala city (Alinaitwe M.H, 2008). The sector is however faced with a number of problems that affect time, cost and quality performances. This research report analyzes contractor procurement criteria as a key factor in the successful completion of road construction projects in Uganda. The research focused on road construction companies within Lira district and Kampala city and the procurement department within Lira district and Kampala City as the procuring entity. The objectives that guided this study were: To determine the most widely used tendering method for road construction projects in Uganda; to evaluate how the selection criteria of contractors affects the successful completion of road construction projects in Uganda; and to assess the impact of procurement process on the type of contractor selected to deliver a road construction project. Descriptive survey research design based on questionnaire was used because the study objectives were descriptive in nature and required taking care of multiple realities likely to be found in the field. Simple random sampling was used to select the respondents whereby every worker was randomly selected from the organization’s employees. Data from the responses was organized, coded and analyzed. The analysis was done using descriptive statistics, tables, frequencies and percentages. Results showed that the most widely used tendering method for selection of contractors for road construction projects in Uganda is the open tendering method where the employer advertises his proposed project and permits as many contractors as are interested to apply for tender documents. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the respondents agreed that the criteria employed for selecting road construction contractors in Uganda promotes quality projects upon completion. The procurement process also greatly affects the type of contractor selected to deliver a road construction project because contractor selection involves the use of different procurement methods and techniques. In order to ensure that the project is completed successfully, the client must select the most appropriate contractor. Competitive tendering method should be adopted so that a competent contractor can be selected. Practices in the procurement process like awarding tenders to lowest bidder, nepotism, bribery and favoritism result into awarding of contracts to incompetent contractors and should therefore be minimized.