Learning and innovating in connection with performance contracts for RWS

For the maintenance of roads, motorway services and ferry ports, and for emergency response management, the Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) for the Northern Netherlands uses what they call ‘performance contracts’. Performance contracts are agreements that Rijkswaterstaat makes with contractors, under which all regularly scheduled maintenance and emergency response activities are carried out. From April 2018 to May 2021, Witteveen+Bos assisted Rijkswaterstaat in managing these performance contracts in the northern provinces.

The scope of this assignment encompassed all highways and associated route information signs, electrical and mechanical installations and motorway services, as well as the ferry connections to and from the Frisian Islands (with the exception of Texel). Our tasks included coordinating the Change Order Request (COR) process and assessing contractor applications for Declarations of Performance (DoP). We also periodically updated the procurement file and we assessed overall progress as well as the contractor’s fulfilment of MEAT obligations. This ensured the proper and lawful execution of these contracts.

In order to contribute to future performance contracts, several new products and methods were developed in consultation with the team members from Rijkswaterstaat. A MEAT monitor was developed so that the extent to which a contractor fulfils their MEAT obligations can be better monitored. A COR-coordination environment was also developed in Relatics/GRIP. This environment helped monitor the various statuses of the (more than 300) CORs, as well as the lead times connected to their processing. These additions make the management of current and future performance contracts clearer, easier and, above all, better.

Various Witteveen+Bos employees were given the opportunity to work directly with Rijkswaterstaat on managing the performance contracts. This allowed young employees at the start of their careers, too, to come into direct contact with the client. This client contact and collaboration meant these junior colleagues gained a good deal of valuable knowledge and experience in a short time.

The client's satisfaction with our services led to our contract twice being extended. This meant that, for three years, we were able to support Rijkswaterstaat in managing and advising on these performance contracts. We are proud to have been able to contribute, in this way, to ensuring the manageability, reliability and, above all, safety of all highways, motorway services and ferry ports in the Northern Netherlands!

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