Investigation of the frequency and severity of claims on road construction projects in Uganda: a case of Uganda National Roads Authority
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This study centered on the frequency and severity of claims which are normally inevitable on road construction projects. Claims are known to cause completion delays and therefore affect the total cost of projects. While it might not be possible to totally avoid claims, it is possible to minimize them. The study centered on national road construction projects in Uganda under the Uganda National Roads Authority. Specifically, the research established the causes of claims on road construction projects, their average occurrence, and their gravity as well as impact on contractual performance of the road construction projects. A descriptive research design, case study and survey research methods were adopted. Questionnaires were administered to a sample of 21 Contract Managers in the Uganda National Roads Authority, each handling a managerial portfolio on a major national road construction project in Uganda. The findings from the study indicate the most common causes of claims by Contractors on national road construction projects were adverse weather on account of abnormal rains, unforeseen ground/ soil conditions, delays in granting the Contractor access to the site, increase in scope of works through introduction of new items, and increase in quantities in relation to those at bidding stage. The results from the study also show that claims on road construction projects are normally frequent with an average occurrence of 5.25 claims per project. Finally, it has been ascertained that claims on these projects are always severe and have a significant impact on the time performance of the contracts for the national road projects. They always on the average cause increase in project duration by approximately 53.2% of the original duration albeit with no attendant impact on the quality of works. It is recommended that more research is conducted to assess the exact influence of these claims on the project costs. For practice, the planning, organizing, leading and controlling functions in UNRA must be strengthened to abate the severity of claims by Contractors.