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LESSONS:

Central Region Transport Networks Improvement Sector Project

sector: Transport | country: Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

1. The consultant’s undertaking preparatory work for phases 1 and 2 were not the same as the construction supervision consultant’s for all three phases who were also responsible for preparing Phase 3 subprojects. The construction supervision consultant’s thus did not have any responsibility for the design of subprojects under phases 1 and 2. This became an issue after the consultant’s that had done the preparatory work for phases 1 and 2 had completed their contract and left Viet Nam. Changed site conditions made it impossible for the contractors to follow the approved design, and so delays occurred. To ensure continuity, only one consultant both for supervision and design should have been selected.

2. It was noted at appraisal: �preparation of documentation and commencement of civil works for phases 2 and 3 will follow sequentially as individual tasks are completed under Phase 1.� This meant that delays and changes in some subprojects in phases 1 and 2, led to delays in subsequent Phase 3 subprojects. In future, this kind of conditionality should be avoided to prevent delays in implementation.

3. In Phase 3, a total of three provinces were delegated full authority to implement subprojects in their provinces. This delegation included negotiations and signing of civil works contracts, approval of variation orders, changes to technical design, and approval of payments to the contractors. The time spent in solving changes in technical design and deciding on variations was significantly reduced, much to the benefit of the project. There was a feeling of local ownership to the subprojects in the delegated provinces. Delegated authority implied increased responsibility, which effectively put pressure on the provincial project management units to solve issues fast that otherwise could hamper the progress and/or negatively affect the quality of the subprojects. Delegation to more provinces could have improved the implementation of the project and avoided some delays. ADB should consider more delegation in future similar projects if provinces have sufficient capacity to handle ADB procedures.

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