Delay of projects for poor preparation, coordination

About 76% of government officials involved in the preparation, processing and appraisal of development projects believe that projects are approved without a proper feasibility study and consultations with stakeholders, according to a recent study.

And about 26% of survey respondents said they had experienced such deficiencies in 61-81% of projects, according to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division study on slow implementation. the implementation of development projects.

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“This is a major area of ​​concern,” says the report, which is based on a survey of 100 government officials, focus group discussions, project data from the past five years and interviews with consultants. , retired government officials and project managers.

This is the first study of its kind conducted by the government, Md. Taibur Rahman, director of IMED and one of the study’s researchers, told the Daily Star yesterday.

Bangladesh is late in completing most projects on time and within budget, leading to cost overruns and reducing expected project benefits.

Poor and slow implementation rates of high-profile fast-track projects such as Padma Bridge, Padma Bridge Rail Link and Dhaka Metro are examples, according to the report, which was released on June 6.

Of the government’s eight fast-track projects, six have already been revised and a proposed revision for another – the metro – has been submitted. Only the Rooopur nuclear power plant project has not yet been revised.

Due to escalating costs and delays, the majority of projects fail to achieve the initially set goals and targets, including internal rate of return, financial rate of return, and economic rate of return.

Therefore, it is important to identify the main causes and take the necessary measures to prevent such poor governance of public projects.

Around 85% of respondents agreed that projects requiring civil works lack proper engineering drawings, which is critical to the success of projects.

About 72% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that weak project documents are a major impediment. Only 16% were indifferent and 12% disagreed.

“This indicates that the overwhelming majority felt that the project documents are weak and this is a serious problem.”

About 16% of respondents experience a high incidence of such a problem: 61-81%.

As many as 89 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that there are insufficient resources to prepare a Decent Development Project Proposal (DPP).

About 70% of respondents believe that more than 40% of projects had a weak PPD or technical project proposal (TPP) due to a lack of adequate resources, he said.

“A few people are involved in the preparation of a large number of DPPs/TPPs and this compromises the quality of project documents, which subsequently leads to delays in project implementation.

This highlights the urgent need to strengthen the planning component of all administrative ministries.

About 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the DPP/TPP procurement and work plan is not closely monitored.

More than 80% of respondents believe that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in the implementation of projects. Three-quarters of respondents believe that more than 40% of projects had such challenges.

More than 90% agreed that the recruitment of PDs and project staff and the frequent transfer of PDs were delaying project implementation, he said.

Subsequently, the study called for the appointment of full-time project managers and fewer opportunities for review.

About 80 percent of respondents think there is a lack of coordination between implementing agencies on the ground.

As many as 80 percent of respondents believe that the project appraisal committee and the project steering committee, two major committees responsible for monitoring project implementation, do not meet regularly, becoming a major cause of project delays.

Sometimes non-professionals are included in the committees, which creates problems.

About 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that good contractors are not selected, suggesting the extent of the problem.

About three-quarters of respondents believe that more than 40% of projects experienced such problems.

About 91% believe that land acquisition is a major challenge in carrying out projects.

Subsequently, the report called for ensuring all kinds of building materials, land, power supply, procurement, customs clearance and other utilities at the time of project implementation.

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