The national road network represents a major asset for the Republic of Serbia as it is used for 90% of the overall passenger transport and for 80% of the freight transport. In charge of its maintenance is the public enterprise JP “Putevi Srbije” – PE “Roads of Serbia” (PERS), which performs this activity through a pool of maintenance contractors that are paid based on agreed unit rates.

As a result of this maintenance method and the historical lack of a sufficient investment in maintenance activities, the asset condition has deteriorated. This chronic shortage of budget funding has also generated a large backlog of periodic maintenance and rehabilitation, resulting in a poor status and an unsafe condition on a substantial portion of the country’s road network.

The Government of Serbia has set out a reform policy focused on the introduction of result-based financing in the infrastructure sector, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Performance Maintenance Based Contracts (PBMCs). These are all seen as innovative instruments with a nation-wide impact and the potential to increase the transparency and efficiency of public spending and asset management on routine tasks, like road maintenance.

In this context, a Consortium led by IRD Engineering and with the participation as partners of DRI upravljanje investicij, Družba za razvoj infrastrukture, d. o. o. and VZB Capital & Advisory have just signed a new contract for a project aimed at the enhancement of capacities for the management of road assets and for a more efficient use of the funds allocated to road maintenance. The project is funded by the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, will be managed by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, and will have Roads of Serbia as its main beneficiary.

During the next 36 months a team of specialists from the Consortium will develop a methodology for the planning of multi-annual performance-based financing in road maintenance, will produce a rule-book with technical specifications for the maintenance of the state road network, will enhance the standard tender documents for Performance-Based Road Maintenance Contracts, will further develop the Road Asset Management System in the context of Service Level Agreements for the state roads I category, and will transfer knowledge to the relevant stakeholders.

IRD Engineering counts on a dedicated team for the provision of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building services to build, improve and maximize capacities in infrastructure planning, procurement, development, operation, and maintenance, by the expansion and strengthening of skills, resources, institutions and legal frameworks.

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