Contracting for road maintenance in the Netherlands: The downside of Performance-Based Contracting

Cees J. Gelderman*, Janjaap Semeijn, Sjerp de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A trend towards performance-based contracting (PBC) can be observed in public infrastructure maintenance. PBC is an approach of tying the contractor's payment to specified performance. We investigated PBC for the maintenance of highways and roads in the Netherlands, identifying issues ultimately resulting in poor contractor performance. The PBC-induced risks for clients relate to the problematic translation and measurement of specifications, the ineffectiveness of incentives, the avoidance of contractors taking full responsibility, and contract management issues. Clients should recognize the actual balance of power in the relationship with their (main) contractors, and take appropriate measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019


  • performance-based contracting
  • PBC induced risks
  • road maintenance

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