Contract management of high-value road works in Zambia: a case of road development agency.

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Mutale, Chisala Terry
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The University of Zambia
The Government of the Republic of Zambia spends millions of kwachas every year for the development of road infrastructure. This was evidenced in the 2020 Budget were over ZMW10.5 billion was allocated for various road projects. With such sums of funds spent on road infrastructure, it is fundamentally important that road works are procured and managed efficiently and effectively to obtain value for money. The Road Development Agency (RDA) being the largest beneficiary of funds allocated for road infrastructure, a research was conducted at RDA on the contract management of high-value road works in Zambia. The research was triggered by the findings of the Office of the Auditor General on the poor management of contracts for road works in Zambia. The aim of the research was to develop a framework that addresses shortfalls in contract management of high-value contracts for road works at RDA in Zambia. Concurrent mixed methods research was the key methodological choice adopted for the study with the incorporation of philosophies such as critical realism, interpretivism and pragmatism; and approaches to theory development such as deduction, induction and abduction. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews which were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Out of twenty-four (24) respondents, twenty-three (23) participated in the research which translated into a response rate of 95.8%. The results of the research showed that the top twenty-five (25) factors of poor contract management of high-value contracts for road works at RDA included delays in processing payments, awarding contracts without mobilising adequate funds, implementing contracts with improperly prepared design documents/statements of work, etc. In addition, it was discovered that the management of construction contracts at RDA comprised four (4) key stages namely; planning & design, development & award, mobilisation and implementation. Finally, based on the research results a contract management framework was developed which addresses limitations in the contract management of high-value contracts for road works at RDA.
Thesis of Master of Science in Operations, Projects and Supply Chain Management.