Significant Causes behind Payment Delays in Public Sector Building Construction Projects in North Western Province of Sri Lanka.
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Payment delay is one of the most significant issues experienced in public sector building construction projects. Correspondingly, most of the building construction projects in North-Western Province (NWP) of Sri Lanka are often characterized by delayed payments. Hence, the objective of this research is to identify the significant causes behind delayed payments in public sector building construction projects in NWP; as an initiation to develop a preventive framework for payment delays. First and foremost, a detailed literature review was carried out and identified 28 number of payment delay causes, including seven client related causes, nine consultant related causes, seven contractor related causes, and five other causes. Then a questionnaire was articulated and distributed among 100 (census) population of experienced professionals belong to the NWP Engineering Department and its 7 numbers of divisional engineers' offices in NWP. Sixty-five of them were responded. The Relative Importance Index (RII) method was used to rank the most significant causes. Results indicated, the client's failure to follow the pre-set procedure as the most significant client-related cause for payment delays. The results further portrayed that delays in subcontractor's interim payment application, errors in contractors' claims, and delay in the valuation of work done by the quantity surveyor as the prominent payment delay causes respectively fit into other, contractor, and consultant related category of causes. Besides, the client-related causes category with highest average RII was identified as the highly influential group of causes behind payment delays in public sector building construction projects in NWP of Sri Lanka.