Kováčik: Poor management, outsourcing behind Czech motorway fiasco

Kováčik: Poor management, outsourcing behind Czech motorway fiasco

Published at: 2019-08-28 09:59 | Author: CIJEurope.com
The joke going around Prague is that the D1 motorway currently offers the best museum exhibition of construction equipment anywhere. The point of the joke is that although reconstruction of this key transportation artery is already a couple years late, it's common to drive by entire kilometers of torn up roadway, dozens of bulldozers and see no actual work being done. The planning and construction of roads in the Czech Republic takes longer -- and is far more expensive -- than in most other European countries. Hospodářské noviny looks at why this is in an interview with Pavol Kováčik, the man who lasted just three months at the head of the Czech Highway Authority (RSD) before resigning in July.

In the interview, he claims that RSD's inability to build motorways efficiently is largely down to the fact that it's far too reliant on outsourcing its
design engineering and that it lacks sufficient skilled, in-house professionals. He reveals that the Slovak equivalent of the the RSD, which he managed previously, had 45 experts for land acquisition, while RSD, which is far bigger, has just 25. Overall, claims Kováčik, the RSD is poorly managed and needs a complete restructuring.

"Compared to the situation in Slovakia, in Czechia there are far more changes that take place during construction," he says. "That points to careless preparation of the project. While this might look as if the designers are making the mistake, it's more about how these designers are managed and what sort of tasks they're being given." He warns that one of the biggest practical issues causing delays and budget overruns is that responsibility for geological surveys are carried out separately from the design work. This design work then has to be redone when mistakes in the survey are discovered.

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