Study on improving the managing for maintenance contract road construction in Vietnam

Conduct accurate assessments on current status of damages on each route to be

maintained to determine appropriate needs for capital; Reasonably and scientifically

allocate sources of capital to road construction maintenance; Mobilize other sources of

capital from socialization for maintenance; Strengthen management, control on vehicle

load and increase penalties for overloaded vehicles.

- Diversify capital sources for road construction maintenance in order to prepare adequate

capital that meet current maintenance capital needs; establish maintenance capital

projects to solve capital constraints for the maintenance of road construction.

b. As for road construction operating management owners

- Strengthen measures to manage contract, materials used in the constructions; strengthen

the management of the Contractor's maintenance technology in order to control the

volume, quality, progress and costs during implementation.

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of each contract depends on specific characteristics of each bidding package and clearly stated in the bidding plan and bidding invitation documents, which shall be basis for contract signing and specify general requirements on contract documents and contractor(s), to ensure the optimal performance of the contract management. 2.2.2.4. Roles of road construction maintenance contract - Firstly, road construction maintenance contract clearly and fully define the rights and obligations of the parties involved in the contract, to ensure quality and schedule of the road construction maintenance package(s). - Secondly, road construction maintenance contract is the basic for road construction operation manager to direct, inspect and control the quality of the implementation as well as the cost and progress of the contract to obtain the set forth investment objectives. - Thirdly, road construction maintenance contract is also the basis for related parties in solving arisen problems as well as disputes arisen during the implementation of the signed contract, ensuring the smooth, on-time and legal implementation of the contract. 2.2.2.5. Principles for signing road construction maintenance contracts The signing of road construction maintenance contract should be in compliance with these basic principles: (i) Voluntariness, equality, goodwill, cooperation, honesty, mutual benefit and not being illegal; (ii) Maintenance contractor(s) must meet the capacity requirements on practicing and operation in accordance with legal regulations; (iii) The manager of the road construction operation has the right to sigh contract(s) with one or more than one contractor; (iv) The general contractor, the main contractor may sign a contract with one or several subcontractors, but the subcontractor(s) must be approved by the road construction operation manger and (v) The contract price must not exceed the bid-winning price or negotiated results. 2.2.2.6. Forms of road construction maintenance contract Forms of road construction maintenance contract is the expression of legal agreement in written text that establish all parties’ rights and obligations that related to the entire work to ensure and maintain the normal and safe operation of road construction in compliance with the regulations on maintenance process and the construction design during its operation. These aim at maintain the service capacity of the road, bridge in the conditions of developing economy and increasing demands on passenger and commodity transporting 10 2.3. Theory of managing road construction maintenance contracts 2.3.1. Concept The management of road construction maintenance contracts is the maximum mobilization of measures and resources so that all terms of the contracts signed between related parties are smoothly implemented and completed with the desired results. 2.3.2. Factors affecting the management of road construction maintenance contracts 2.3.2.1. Legal mechanisms and policies of the Vietnamese Government Legal mechanisms and policies of Vietnamese Government greatly impact on the management of road construction maintenance contracts. With suitable mechanism and policies, appropriate and prompt and comprehensive legal regulations, the quality of contract management shall be guaranteed; Vice versa, there shall be immediately negative effects on the management. 2.3.2.2. Operating manager of road constructions Road construction operating manager may be the investment capital owner or the entities that the Government assigns to manage the state capital invested in the road construction; This manager is one of the two entities directly take part in the contract relationship. Operating manager of the road construction is responsible for carrying out management contents in accordance with Vietnamese Legal regulation, on the basis of fully performing the management functions such as (i) Contract management planning; (ii) Organize the implementation of management plan for each specific contract; (iii) Supervising and monitoring the implementation of contract management plan; (iv) Promptly adjust the contract management plan in necessary cases as prescribed. 2.3.2.3. Maintenance contractor The capacity of the maintenance contractor is the prerequisite and the most important factor towards the quality and performance of the road construction maintenance contract. The contractor's professional competence is expressed through such factors as high professionalism, competence, experience, qualifications and ethical qualities of his staffs, machinery and equipment, financial capacity, quantity and skillfulness of his workers, etc 11 2.3.3. Management contents for road construction maintenance contract 2.3.3.1. Bidding to select maintenance contractor Bidding to select maintenance contractor is the process of preparing Bidding Documents and organizing the bidding 2.3.3.2. Negotiate and sign contract for road construction maintenance The process of contract negotiating and signing is the later stage of the bidding process, and is the first step in the process of managing the implementation of road construction maintenance contract. A good negotiation process may provide related parties a strictly regulated contract on each party’s rights and obligations. 2.3.3.3. Management for road construction maintenance contract implementation The management is carried out on the following aspects: (i) Maintenance quality according to the contract’s terms and conditions; (ii) Work volume and prices in accordance with the contract; (iii) Contract performance schedule; (iv) Labor safety, environmental protection, fire and explosion prevention; (v) Contract adjustment and other contents. 2.3.3.4. Acceptance and liquidation of contracts Acceptance and liquidation of contracts include determining the followings: the quantity and quality of completed products and works; the final settlement value; liabilities; returns for contract performance guarantee when transit to the contract warranty period; warranty management works; contract liquidation. 2.3.4. Managing process for road construction maintenance contract By studying current legal documents, the PhD student summarizes the typical process as follows 12 2.4. Experiences from other nations in managing road construction maintenance contract, and lessons for Vietnam 2.4.1. Experiences from other nations in managing road construction maintenance contracts 2.4.1.1 .Experiences from China The relationship between road construction management authorities and maintenance contractor had shifted from subordinate to owner and contractor. Since then, management for maintenance contract according to PBC contract was first applied in China. 2.4.1.2. Experience from Japan 13 Currently, in Japan, PBC contracts are widely applied and implemented in bidding to select road construction maintenance contractor and manage maintenance contracts. 2.4.1.3 Experiences from Argentina They manage road construction maintenance contracts based on the performance quality, with the combination of repair and regular maintenance (which is called Crema Contract); And achieve specific results including: No contract delay; Maintenance cost savings; Quickly and simply operation control; The acceptance and payment must be done fluently and conveniently throughout 5 years, there is no stopping or delay due to lack of capital. 2.4.1.4. Experiences from Australia The PBC contract is considered as the contract to perform road construction maintenance and this type of contract is applied throughout the country. Australian PBC contract has a typical characteristic: it is designed to transfer overall control and responsibility for road construction maintenance to private contractors. 2.4.2. Lessons for Vietnam Firstly, we should strongly focus on the management work; clearly separating the responsibilities and obligations of the State management agencies on road constructions and maintenance contractors; Develop a systematic framework for managing road construction maintenance contract with the view of Party A (Buyer) in terms of (i) Identify the contract's partner (prepare Bidding Documents and select maintenance contractor); (ii) Negotiate and sign contracts (Procedure, content, etc.); (iii) Manage the contract performance (maintenance quality, contract volume and price, implementation schedule, labor safety, etc.), (iv) Acceptance and liquidation (terms and procedures for acceptance, payment and final settlement of the contracts, etc.). Secondly, enhance the awareness and responsibility of the maintenance contractor during the implementation of road construction maintenance contract; the saving of maintenance costs, improving the investment efficiency for maintenance always comes from Contractors who positively participate in management and maintenance activities; Enhance the imitativeness of the Contractor in all decisions, how-where-when and when to perform and fully responsible for the performance of the signed maintenance contract. Thirdly, the implementation of the PBC contract brings about lots of benefits to the State management authorities in the field of road constructions, maintenance contractors and the whole society. Being called with different names such as Package Contract; hybrid contracts, etc., the contract applied in different construction conditions bring about certain benefits. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures to enhance the application of PBC contracts in road construction maintenance in Vietnam (such as: form specific standards of technical designs; criteria to evaluate quality, progress and volume in accordance with each specific project; etc.) to ensure the quality of the management for road construction in Vietnam. 14 CHAPTER 3: CURRENT CONDITIONS AND RESULTS OF MANAGEMENT FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE CONTRACT IN VIETNAM 3.1. Overview on road network and the reality of road construction maintenance management in Vietnam 3.1.1. Key elements constituting the road network of Vietnam Table 3.1 - Statistics of some main components of road constructions in the period of 2013-2016 3.1.2. Vietnam national highway system Vietnam's national highway system covers the whole territory and acts as a main axis for transport links between regions, economic centers, airports, seaports, border gates and important transport hubs. . The national highway system accounts for 4.23% of the road network's length, which is the arterial routes and accounts for the largest volume of transport compared to other roads [105]. 3.1.3 Rural transport system 15 Currently, Vietnam's rural transport system has been strongly developed, making an important contribution to socio-economic development and national defense and security. In general, Vietnam's road constructions, in recent years, have been paid attention to so they are being developed, expanded, quality improved, strengthen in exploitation management and maintenance in a comprehensive manner. 3.1.4. Reality of the management for road construction maintenance in Vietnam 3.1.4.1. Strengthen State management, supplement legal documents governing the operation of road construction maintenance The State has strengthened the management and supplemented of legal documents which govern the maintenance of road construction such as (i) Laws of Road Traffic; (ii) Management and protection of road transport infrastructure; (iii) Managing exploitation and maintenance of road construction; (iv) Order and conduct bidding for road construction maintenance contractor, etc. 3.1.4.2. Renew, prepare and hand over maintenance plans for road construction As for regular maintenance, the Ministry of Transport and the General Department of Vietnam Road have focused on the preparation and assign the task of medium-term road construction maintenance plan, specifically for each 3-year period and annually adjusted to suit the real conditions. For repair work, damages on routes are gathered into a bidding package then they hold a bidding to select contractor. 3.1.4.3. Gradually apply the bidding method in road construction maintenance. Gradually change the performing method for road construction maintenance from task assignment to bidding to perform maintenance package. All organizations and individuals who are capable can participate in the road construction maintenance bidding packages. By changing the mode of implementation, the State agency shall only play the role of manager and supervisor on the performing of maintenance contractor in accordance with signed contracts between road construction operating manager and maintenance contractors. 3.1.4.4. Quality management for maintenance activities The quality management for road construction maintenance activities has been being strengthened; it is considered as core and focus task throughout the implementation of maintenance. 3.1.4.5. Application of science and technology in maintenance for road construction Contractors have applied many advanced technologies that suitable to conditions in Vietnam, to bidding packages, including: Cooperating with JICA within the framework of Project for strengthening maintenance capacity - Phase II, which includes the contents of surveying, assessing road surface conditions, develop software system for pavement management and maintenance planning based on the survey results and downgrade model predictions, etc. 3.2. Reality of road construction maintenance contract in Vietnam 16 3.2.1. Forms of road construction maintenance contract applied In the period of 2013 - 2018, the management methods for road construction maintenance contract have been transformed to suit the market economy in Vietnam; there are 3 forms of the contracts being applied: (i) Order contract for road construction maintenance; (ii) Fixed-price contract for road construction regular maintenance base on quality performance and (iii) PBC contract. 3.2.2. Bidding to select road construction maintenance contractor In the period of 2013 - 2018, contractor selecting was done through bidding, the signing of road construction maintenance contract was performed in different forms and had brought about significant achievements. The preparation for bidding documents and bidding organization for selecting maintenance contractor ensures the determination of appropriate contractor for road construction maintenance contract. Currently, maintenance activities are mainly carried out under fixed-price contract for road construction regular maintenance base on performance quality and PBC contracts. 3.2.3 Negotiate the terms and conditions and sign road construction maintenance contract Negotiation and signing of road construction maintenance contracts have been implemented with basic principles. Parties involved in the negotiation phase, base on actual conditions of each specific project, have properly studied the appropriateness of the terms stated in the contract. However, for many contracts, exploitation operating manager of road construction and contractor have only negotiated and finalized the road construction maintenance contract with general terms and conditions without studying documents of specific project. 3.2.4. Management for the implementation of road construction maintenance contracts 17 In the period of 2013-2018, the management for road construction maintenance contracts had transformed from traditional forms into contract signing with the 2 forms: fixed-price contract for road construction regular maintenance base on performance quality, and PBC contract. The performance management for each of the above contracts was implemented in an appropriate manner and achieved certain results. 3.2.5. Acceptance, settlement and finalization of road construction maintenance contracts As for the two forms of road construction maintenance contracts that have been being applied, the payment is made based on technical status and the quality of the work; the acceptance and payment are made monthly. This helps to maintain contractors’ financial resources so that they are initiative in planning consequence maintenance and limit the delays due to lack of capital. 3.3. Evaluation on the management of road construction maintenance contracts in Vietnam in the period of 2013 - 2018 In the period of 2013 - 2018, the General Department of Vietnam Road had implemented bidding packages for road construction maintenance based on performance quality. By studying actual conditions, PhD student would like to summarize the achieved results, the major limitations and basic causes of the limitations in the management of road construction maintenance contract in the period 2013-2018. 3.3.1. Results The actual situation of the management for road construction maintenance contract in the period of 2013-2018 shows that: The management of maintenance contracts based on performance quality through public bidding had obtained certain results, saved the cost and ensured the service quality of road constructions in Vietnam, namely: Firstly: Strengthen the state management, supplement legal documents related to road construction maintenance contracts. Second: Enhance the effect of biddings to select contractors to perform maintenance contracts. Third: Enhance the quality of the negotiation and signing of road construction maintenance contracts. Fourth: Improve the quality of the implementation management of road construction maintenance contract. Fifth: Gradually fulfill the acceptance, settlement and final payment for road construction maintenance contracts. 3.3.2. Major limits and basic causes of the limits in the management for road construction maintenance contract in Vietnam a. Major limits: Firstly, major limits in legal policies and regulations such as: No detailed instructions that suit road construction maintenance contract with specific characteristics; Lack of 18 clearly stated regulations and Unclear regulations leading to difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of the monitoring and managing the maintenance contract. Laws on road construction maintenance contracts are not clear and lack of detail regulations. There is no unified sample for road construction maintenance contracts applied to the whole system; so there is no uniform and comprehensive implementation. Secondly, the major limits in bidding to select maintenance construction: (i) Quality of bidding documents; (ii) Capacity of staffs participating in bidding activities is not equal among units and management levels; (iii) When apply online bidding, communication is limited, contractors are not fully informed of related information to participate in the online bidding; (iv) Slow assessment on the bidding proposals affect contractors’ operation and lead to the lengthen of contract perform duration and (v) Adjustment for tender package is necessary. Thirdly, major limits in negotiating terms of contracts and signing of road construction maintenance contract include: (i) Many contracts are negotiated and signed with incorrect investment procedure order; (ii) many operating management owners of road construction and contractors do not really care of and appreciate contract negotiation and signing. Fourthly, major limits in managing the implementation of maintenance contracts include: (i) The management on the performance quality and schedule are not guaranteed; the quality management, acceptance and assessment have not been strictly implemented; encroachment has not been promptly detected, prevented and handled; (ii) Regarding the time, small scale of maintenance, the length of route to be maintained is too short, etc., all are obstacles that prevent contractors from investing in new technology, machines and equipment; (iii) Regarding professional capacity of road construction operating management owners, there is no sanctions system to synchronically handle the contractual violations; expenses for inspection and supervision are not fully and timely funded, etc.; (iv) Regarding the capacity road construction maintenance contractors, they are not capable to individually implement a bidding package of large-scale, great work volume and great value with variety of work items. Fifthly, major limits in the acceptance, payment and final settlement for road construction maintenance contracts on (i) No uniform process for the advance payment, payment and final settlement so many contract cannot be implemented in accordance with the set forth schedule; (ii) Capital source maintenance and payment is met with many unreasonable factors that make contractors face many difficulties; Each project has its own maintenance process and it must be agreed by Vietnam General Department of Vietnam Roads; (iii) In the contract settlement, reporting and approval on the settlement of contracts, operating management owner usually violate the stated deadline and affect the project disbursement. b. Basic reason for the above stated limits: 19 First: There is no clear separation between road construction maintenance contract and road construction contract; Standards and regulations on road construction, norms for road construction design and maintenance are not regulated in details; Legal regulation documents on bidding, technical process for the maintenance, standards and procedure for assessment on the quality of road construction maintenance contract, etc., are not adequate and unified. Second: The quality of bidding documents at the time of bid opening is low, failing to meet the requirements set forth for the contractor selection; The staffs involved in bidding is of low qualification, irresponsible for the inspection and supervision (including operating management owner of road construction and the consultancy unit); Violation of regulations on bidding for maintenance of road construction such as connivance and arrangement in the bidding, dishonesty in capacity declaration, etc. Third: The negotiation and signing of contracts are not closely and tightly, there is no unified sequence. Fourth: The professional capacity of Road administration agencies and operating management owner of road construction are still limited in management; There are limits in the contractors’ capacity in finance, manpower, equipment and experiences to implement road construction maintenance contract; the monitoring on technical status of construction are mostly carried out manually; unclear criteria for control and management. Fifth: Acceptance and payment are not timely applied, this cause financial difficulties for contractors during the implementation of the contract; The process for acceptance and payment of road construction maintenance contract has not been standardized. CHAPTER 4: SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE CONTRACT IN VIETNAM 4.1. Demands for maintenance for road construction in Vietnam 4.1.1. Demands for road transport in Vietnam In Vietnam, road transport plays an important role, it makes up 94.39% of the total volume of passenger transport and 77.47% of the total volume of good traffic [20]. Therefore, road constructions are invested more than before and basically meet the role of driving force for socio-economic development, national defense and security, international integration. In addition, an urgent requirement has been put Forward: the implementation of maintenance for road construction must be paid attention with first priority to maintain the exploitation quality and safe circulation. 20 Table 4.1 shows that the demands for road transport is increasing, the numbers in following years increased in comparison with the previous years 4.1.2. State policies on the maintenance of road construction In socio-economic development, road constructions play a particularly important role that keeps the country's traffic artery without interruption. Therefore, road constructions are always given with priority in investment and development by the Vietnamese Communist Party and Government. The priority is shown by consecutively supplementation and improvement of legal documents to effectively manage construction, management and maintenance activities; approval on development strategies and planning in recent years. 4.1.3. Demands for road construction maintenance In order to achieve the basic g

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