Infrastructure transport projects are characterized by long-term assets that often require an enormous initial investment, and high operating and maintenance resources. They also involve many stakeholders with divergent goals and objectives. Generally, the realization of these projects takes several years from the inception of the project to planning, construction, and the operational phase. Numerous decisions will be made during the realization of a project. Some decisions occur within a single organization such as an owner’s decision to adopt a procurement or contracting strategy, while other decisions involve more than one organization or actor such as quality assurance procedures during the construction phase.
The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which decisions intended to ensure meeting project members’ planned budget, time and technical specifications could have produced a less desirable quality level of transport projects. An online survey of 68 respondents and a critical analysis of quality-related decisions during the construction and final inspection of infrastructure transport projects indicate that current quality assurance practices could be the source of an inadequate quality level or lack of quality improvement.
The competence level of a client is indicated as one of the sources of quality problems. The decision to transfer quality assurance responsibility from client to contractor may have contributed to this lack of a client’s competence skills, creating a higher dependence on a supplier’s judgment of the quality level of projects. A recurring acceptance of an adequate quality level could become the norm rather than seeking the highest level of quality specified during the contracting phase. Thus, a downward spiral of quality level acceptance could hamper the drive toward quality improvement goals for infrastructure transport projects.
Decision-making, competence, infrastructure projects, quality assurance, quality improvement