Delays and disruptions on construction projects within the public sector: integrated project delivery system as an alternative.
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The South African construction industry has earned a reputation for poor project delivery, particularly within the public sector. Successful project delivery has been identified as attaining the project objectives with regards to time, cost, quality and scope within the constraints as outlined by the client. Research and statistical data has highlighted key causes for project delivery failure, with delays and disruptions being identified as a primary reason. The consequences of these delays and disruptions are severe and frequently and if not always, lead to cost overruns. The reasons for these delays vary on projects and circumstances. Constructability on projects has been found to be lacking. The sequence of processes on a project is known as the constructability or more commonly, buildability. There is a significant lack of consideration of constructability on projects which results in variations, cost overruns, poor communication and ultimately delaying the project. This study aimed to examine the existing procurement methods which determine the processes, sequence of operations and communication channels within the public sector and investigated whether an alternative procurement method, namely Integrated Project Delivery System (IPDS), could serve as a potential solution to the existing issues. The research was conducted on key project professionals who have great influence on the procurement methods implemented on public sector projects. The processes, sequence of operations and communication channels on a project are determined by the procurement method implemented. The selected procurement method provides a framework for the project and the project team. The current options available within the public sector are structured according to guidelines provided by legislative framework, the Construction Industry Development Board and The National Treasury. The guidelines are aligned with the specific requirement of the country. The findings revealed that the Traditional Procurement method is implemented by default or due to familiarity and is therefore not always the appropriate system. The research found that the Traditional Procurement system (TPS) possesses adversarial relations and the industry is in agreement that a more relational system could harness greater results. In additions, the TPS unfortunately restricts contractor involvement during the implementation stages which is potentially to the detriment of the project. The findings further suggested that the contractor has valuable input which should be considered during the design stages in order to improve the ease of construction and possible reduce construction time and effectively diminish delays and disruptions. The research revealed that the consequential impact of this change will be significant. The study recommends that the South African construction industry within the public sector should display greater versatility when considering the implementation of alternate procurement systems such as Integrated Project Delivery as opposed to adopting the default conventional method which fosters adversarial relations.