Assessing the delivery performance of small- scale contractors in Ghana; Case Study of Ghana Poverty Reduction and the Social Investment Fund Projects


* Research Scientist, (CSIR- Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana)

Though Small-Scale construction firms constitute some ninety percent of all the firms registered with the Ministry of Works and Housing in Ghana, they execute only between ten and twenty percent of all works in financial terms. The performance delivery of Small-scale construction firms is generally low. This is mainly due to low capital base, poor management skills, lack of qualified workmen and other related factors.

This paper assesses the delivery performance of small-scale contractors, highlighting the key factors affecting performance and the measures that should be adopted to enhance performance. The paper is a case study of Ghana Poverty Reduction Project (G.P.R.P.) and the Social Investment Fund (S.I.F) between 2002 and 2006 and empirical data from the project were used for the data analysis. The study found that most of the projects undertaken by small-scale contractors were characterized by completion delays and cost overrun. Whereas projects completed on schedule incurred cost overrun less than one percent, those completed at least six months behind schedule incurred cost overruns between eleven and twenty-five percent. Delay in payment, frequent changes in specifications and poor managerial skills have been the key factors affecting delivery performance of small-scale contractors. Training of managers and artisans in project management and contract administration, and prompt payment of certificates are recommended as means of improving the performance of the Small-Scale contractors in Ghana. Again, a performance index designed for this category of contractors is put in place to grade and award best ones.

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