Investigation of the causes of delay and cost overrun in construction projects in Uganda’s public sector
Apolot, Ruth Engeu
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Abstract There is great concern for delays and cost overruns because most of the construction projects in Uganda are implemented using tax payers’ money and donor funds. This has led to a lot of debate on how to minimise project delays and cost overruns. The objectives of this study were to identify the causes of construction project delays and cost overruns in Uganda’s public sector, rank them in terms of their frequency and severity and to find out the relationship between these causes. The Civil Aviation Authority was taken as a case studying as a means of validating the results of the survey. The top ten ranking causes of delays and cost overruns in construction projects were found to be: change of work scope; delayed payments; poor monitoring and control; high cost of capital; political insecurity and instability; unreliable sources of materials on the local market; fuel shortage; differing site conditions; inadequate/inefficient equipment, tools and plant; and poor communication. Other causes of delays and cost overruns include corruption, poor planning at the design stage, political interference and delayed project implementation after the design stage. Eight main causes of delays and seven main causes of cost overruns were identified using the factor analysis of the impact of the factors on project time and cost. The relationship between the factors that cause delays and those that cause cost overrun was found to be +0.581 and +0.627 ( both moderate) with a 2-tail level of significance of 0.010 in frequency of occurrence and level of severity respectively . Recommendations were made for thorough preparation of designs, scope, and estimates before the implementation of the projects so as to minimise scope changes during the implementation; a change from the traditional contract type to the design-build type because this would make the contractor liable for delays and cost overruns; improved cash flow on the part of the client so as to reduce payment delays. The following topics of research were suggested: investigating the effect of delays and cost overruns on project quality; impact of change of work scope on project time and cost and investigation into the level of preparedness of the project parties in the project implementation.