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LESSONS:

Bangkok Urban Transport Project

sector: Transport | country: Thailand | region: Greater Mekong Subregion

ADB needs to ensure that the project executing agency (EA) has adequate resources to implement the project on schedule. In this project, the executing agency (EA) was not diligent due to lack of resources and motivation. It should have coordinated with ADB and the consultants more closely, streamlined approvals, and followed ADB guidelines and procedures from the outset. It only communicated when ADB requested information and then only after considerable delay. Advice offered by ADB was often disregarded. Civil works procurement was delayed due to the EA modifying the bidding documents after they were approved by ADB, which made appointing contractors even more difficult. Lastly, the EA ignored the loan covenants.

Only the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) grant was provided to the Bangkok Regional Structure Plan. The Inception Mission only visited the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) in 1993 to review progress on the component. NESDB and ADB did not coordinate with each other although the component was successfullycompleted. A component without ADB loans and grants should not be incorporated into future projects. CIDA and ADB did not coordinate with each other. The cofinanciers should haveperiodically discussed the project’s status during implementation.

The Asian economic crisis caused one contractor to seriously delay the project. Careful attention should be paid during the prequalification exercise to ensure that bidders have sufficient financial resources.

The executing agency selected the construction supervision consultants locally without reference to ADB’s Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. As the loan did not include funding for the consulting services, ADB had difficulty controlling the consultants. To avoid the same kinds of delay and difficulty, the construction supervision consultants should be financed from the loan and selected in accordance with ADB’s guidelines. The consultants of each section of the project road were different, which required additional coordination. For example, one consultant made a requested project completion report, but another did not. More than one consulting service contract for construction supervision was unnecessary.

Three executing agencies (EAs) oversaw four project components, complicating project administration. All the components achieved their objectives, but independently. The EAs coordinated only in thetraining component. A project coordinator should have been appointed from the government.

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