Factors influencing the perfomance of public sector projects; a case of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company
Omollo, Raphael E O.
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Many projects in the energy sector supervised or implemented by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company prior to 2005 stalled or were poorly implemented and lacked quality. The construction of 132 kV Rabai-Galu line for example never kicked off even after design. A search on studies regarding performance of projects in the public sector revealed that no distinct factors have been identified for the energy sector. The study sought to examine the factors that influence the performance Of projects in the public sector as regards to the success or failure with a specific focus on the Kenya Power and Lighting Company Ltd. The government of Kenya allocates colossus amounts of money for various projects in the public sector. These projects have a great impact in the growth of the economy; examples are the transport and energy sectors. Almost a third of the Kenya shillings 1.155 trillion budgeted for the . current financial year is earmarked for development projects; infrastructure and social. This was a descriptive study. This design was used since data collected allowed the research to provide an insight into life experiences in a way that other research methods couldn't. It removes barriers of strict academic approaches so that the researcher can witness other peoples experiences in the management of public sector projects. The population was composed of the 250 members of project management teams in the company. A sample size of 150 project team members was selected from the population using multi-stage sample design. The study used primary data that was collected from the managers, project engineers, and project implementation teams using questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to investigate the project the factors influencing the performance of public sector projects. Thus the evaluations were done using the mean and standard deviation to measure the spread of influence of the various success and failure factors as applied to performance of public sector projects. The study established factors that were considered important in the evaluation of project performance were quality, funds, competence of contractors and suppliers, staff and manager competence, technology, quality equipment, and company policies. The study found that in terms of the factors that influence project performance, comfort factors were rated high (mean = 4.12) followed by commitment (mean = 4.10) then competence (mean = 3.96) and then communication factors (mean = 3.85). The study recommended that as an interim measure, project managers may simply examine the project environment and make a qualitative judgment on the potential for success of their projects. The study may be replicated for study of performance of projects in the private sector too.