Factors influencing financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in Awendo Town Council; Migori County, Kenya
Owuor, Eliud O.
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This study set out to investigate factors influencing financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the Town Council of Awendo .This was necessitated by the situation in the council where virtually every project implemented by the council suffered financial cost overrun. It was aimed at establishing the factors and coming up with recommendations aimed at improving the situation. The objectives of the study were: to assess the extent to which reliability of project cost estimates influences financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the Town Council of Awendo; to establish the extent to which effectiveness of cost control influences financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the Town Council of Awendo; to establish the extent to which timeliness of project completion influences financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the Town Council of Awendo; to investigate the extent to which competency of project management teams influences financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the Town Council of Awendo and to determine the extent to which integrity of the project parties influences financial cost overruns of infra structural projects in the Town Council of Awendo. The study was conceptualized by independent and dependent variables. The independent variables were: reliability of cost estimates; effectiveness of cost control; timeliness of project completion; competency level of project management team and integrity of project parties. Dependent variable was the actual financial cost of infrastructural projects. Reliability and validity of instruments was ensured through test - retest and content validity respectively to facilitate answering of the research questions. The research took a descriptive design. Target population was the total number of individuals who had consistently participated in the Local Authority Service Delivery Action Planning (LASDAP) during the financial years 2005/2006 to 2010/2011 as contained in the council records . They were 789 persons. Given the objectives of the study, there was need to find cases that could provide reliable information. Purposive sampling was therefore used to select people who had participated for at least three of the six years. A sample of 150 was selected. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. The questionnaire was pretested among 15 randomly sampled respondents from the ordinary LASDAP participants while the interview schedule was pretested among three technical officers of the council. The collected data was cleaned and coded to enhance manageability before analysis. The researcher then used frequency tables and percentages to analyze and present the data. The study found and concluded that: inaccurate cost estimates, ineffective cost control, inadequacy of requisite skills, delays and lack of integrity were factors influencing financial cost overruns of infrastructural projects in the council. It is, therefore, recommended that the council should improve on: accuracy of cost estimates, cost control, timeliness of project completion, provision of requisite skills and integrity in order to reduce 'frequency and magnitude of financial cost overruns in infrastructural projects in the council.