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LESSONS:

Road Network Improvement and Maintenance Project: Project Completion Report

sector: Transport | country: Bangladesh

1. The project experienced substantial implementation delays of about 54 months. Protracted recruitment of detailed design and construction supervision consultants, delayed procurement of the major civil works contracts, delayed land acquisition and resettlement, and most importantly, underperformance by a major civil works contractor compounded the delays. Delays in procurement of the civil works contracts were mostly due to government delays in procedures and decision making related to procurement, land acquisition, and resettlement. The Roads and Highways Department’s capacity to plan and monitor resettlement activities must be enhanced, with ADB’s assistance. In the absence of any advance action prescribed by the project, recruitment of the detailed engineering and construction supervision consultants was inordinately delayed (by 23 months). This adversely affected the preparation of detailed engineering design and final selection of the road alignment, delaying land acquisition and awarding of civil works contracts. ADB highlighted this issue, through its country programming review missions, and has since included, in most ADB-assisted projects, provisions for advance action for selection of consultants, and preparatory works for land acquisition and resettlement.

2. A contractor’s ability and commitment to deploy resources for civil works in good time is key to overall performance. While ADB’s standard prequalification and bidding documents are devised to ascertain the bidders’ technical and financial capabilities, further clarification is sometimes required to support the information provided by the bidders. The bidding process therefore needs further streamlining, particularly through ensuring that sufficient clarification is obtained by the executing agency, to verify the bidders’ capacity to comply with qualifying criteria on financial resources, equipment, and personnel.

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