The World Bank (the Bank) through the Highway III Project was supporting Azerbaijan’s initiative to improve its motorway network, including the modernization of motorway management practices. Moreover, despite the rapid expansion of Azerbaijan’s motorways network, operations and maintenance had not yet been considered fully.
The Government intended to establish a new Motorway Unit within the Maintenance Department of the AzerRoadService (the ARS), which will eventually become responsible for managing all motorway operations and maintenance. The Motorway Unit was assigned two main roles:
- (i) on the operational side, the overall responsibility over the O&M activities on the motorway network including contract management, monitoring and evaluation and road data management, and
- (ii) on the planning and budgeting side, annual budget and monitoring and evaluation of the O&M on the motorway network.
The objective of this contract was to transform the arrangements between ARS/ Motorway Unit and the O&M operators from an input-based to a performance-based approach to maintenance and operation. To this end, the assignment included the development of a Service Level Agreement between the Motorway Unit and the selected O&M operators, specifying the duties, targets, objectives, responsibilities, funding, availability of equipment, technical support, and other resources and how performances of the O&M operator should have been monitored.