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Performance Indicators for the Road Sector: Summary of the Field Tests

Following the recommendations of the OECD 1997 report, Performance Indicators for the Road
Sector, a task force was established to field test a selection of 15 performance indicators used by road
administrations throughout the world. The objective of the project was to assess the applicability of the
performance indicators to improving the management of road administration. The field test was
conducted over the period 1997-99 in 15 Member countries. This report outlines the approach adopted
and summarises the results of the field tests.
The 15 indicators that were field tested included: average road user costs; level of satisfaction
regarding travel time and its reliability and quality of road user information; protected road user risk;
unprotected road user risk; environmental policy/programmes; processes in place for market research
and customer feedback; long-term programmes; allocation of resources to road infrastructure; quality
management/audit programmes; forecast values of road costs vs. actual costs; overhead percentage;
value of assets; roughness; state of road bridges; satisfaction with road condition.
A key aspect of the project was the comparison of the processes in which the indicators are applied by
different road administrations. Qualitative assessment on the role of and function served by road
administrations, and whether the execution of their mandates reflects the views of the public and
government, suggested a need cultural change in most cases toward a client focused approach. The
task force concluded that quantitative comparison between administrations is of limited usefulness
unless it is accompanied by a thorough examination of the underlying reasons for any differences.

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