Contract Management Practices and Completion of Road Construction Projects by the County Government of Machakos, Kenya
Mulinge, Gloria Syombua
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There has been poor performance of road contract due to diverse challenges such as poor management of funds and poor delivery of services to the road user. In addition, the performance measurement systems aren’t efficient or effective to overcome this problem. Road contractor’s performance problem appears in many aspects, ranging from fail in time performance, cost performance and others fail in other performance indicators. This study sought to establish and investigate the influence of contract management practices on the completion of road projects by the County Government. The specific objectives were the effect of contractor pre-qualification process, contractors’ payment practices, contract change management practices and contractor supervision activities on the completion of road projects by the County Government of Machakos County. The completion of road projects was measured by time, cost, quality, accuracy and speed. The county government has a total population of 458 staff who were the target respondents of this study. Sampling was done using purposive sampling and stratified sampling to come up with a size of 145 respondents. Data were collected using questionnaires deployed using drop and pick method. Data were analyzed using descriptive techniques aided by SPSS software version 21. The regression analysis results showed that Prequalification, Contractors’ payment practices, Contract Change Management and Supervision statistically explained completion of road construction in Machakos. All the independent variables were found to have a positive linear correlation with the performance of road construction. The findings of this research showed that the county government of Machakos was successful in implementing some of the key factors required for effective and timely completion of roads projects. Of the recommendations suggested in this study, the most crucial one is the emphasis of professional ethics in contract awarding, contract supervision and payment methods for continuing county contracts. From this study it was clear that corruption still needs to be addressed with serious and effective strategies that involve structural and social changes in approaching the vice. This study found out that contactor prequalification is an important aspect in predicting road completion. As was one of the significances of this study, the county government ought to emphasize on contractor prequalification documentation. Payment practices were found to have a strong linear correlation with completion of road project outcomes. This implies that if contractor services are not compensated within the pre-agreed time then road completion outcomes are bound to suffer. With that in mind, it is important that the county officials ensure timely and competitive payment packages that are also less bureaucratic. While contract change Management practices had a significant role in the completion of roads, its overall effect on the regression model was the least. However, the fact that contract Management practices is positively correlated with completion of roads projects at county level, it is imperative that county officials in charge of procurement stop premature contract termination and other contract management issues in order to encourage road completion.