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LESSONS:

Third Road Improvement Project

| country: Sri Lanka

Significant implementation delays were caused by the complex procurement procedures of the government. Improvements in government procurement procedures and the delegation of more authority to executing agencies need to be made. The lack of institutional capacity in the executing agency (Road Development Authority) for preconstruction processes, including land acquisition and relocation of utilities, also led to delays. Even though advance action wasapproved in December 1993, this action did not alleviate delays. As in previous projects, inadequate project maintenance was noted by the PCR Mission for the existing project roads.

The government has difficulty complying with covenants related to broader budget allocation for road maintenance. The inconsistent management of the executing agency (Road Development Authority) is a serious problem and inhibits decision making. Due to these factors, ADB should focus on strengthening RDA and its project implementation capability. Although the project tried to develop the lack of capacity and inexperience of the domestic private sector in road construction and engineering and related services, considerable work still needs to be done. The broader lack of maintenance issues for the sector needs to be addressed through a reform program to improve the planning, execution, and financing of road maintenance.

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