The TA seeks to develop a national transport policy and action plan for Georgia. As part of this TA the consultants will also complete a project appraisal and prioritization framework for the transport sector, produce a long-term human resource development plan for the transport sector, improve transport planning capacity within MOESD and, after completion of the transport policy and action plan, provide consultancy support to transport agencies in implementing action plan.
The national transport policy will review the Georgian transport sector, identify issues that impede the development of the sector and recommend a series of measures designed to improve the delivery of transport services and capacity in Georgia. Recommendations may include, but are not limited to: (i) reforms to existing transport policies, regulations and organizational structures for delivery of transport services; (ii) actions needed to promote Georgia as a multimodal logistics hub linking Asia and Europe, including needed improvements to existing border crossing services/procedures, and the need to ensure that transit traffic yields high economic value to the country; (iii) actions needed to improve road safety in Georgia; (iv) proposals for reasonable funding envelope for transport projects, including consideration of private sector investment and covering both new investments and ongoing operations and maintenance; (v) transport projects to be prioritized in line with prioritization framework created, and (vi) the need for revised engineering design standards.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Georgia's transport system comprises of five modes road, rail, sea, air and pipelines (for oil and natural gas). Since 2005 successive governments have revised rules and regulations on the supply of transport infrastructure and services, as well as restructuring institutions and delegating to transport agencies the authority to modernize the transport system. However, with demand for transport growing rapidly a number of key issues still have to be addressed, including:
1. Lack of transport policy. The transport sector in Georgia lacks an overall sector policy to guide its development in an inclusive and sustainable manner, which has resulted in each agency developing their own vision / strategy / agenda. The transport sector has a need for a development policy with a suitable road map for each mode and financing arrangements.
2. Transport institutions are fragmented and under the direction of multiple ministries: the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MOESD) which has overall responsibility for civil aviation, land and maritime transport, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI) which is responsible for roads, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs that handles policing of roads, including traffic safety matters. There is a need to review the institutional structure within which transport services are provided and ensure that in the long-term both institutional structure, and coordination between agencies, does not represent an impediment to efficient provision of transport services.
3. Regulation. The Maritime Transport Agency, Georgian Civil Aviation Agency, the Land Transport Agency and the State Hydrographic Service of Georgia operate as technical regulators. However, economic regulation of transport services, meaning the regulation of price, service quality and frequency, is rather limited for most modes and needs further development.
4. Human resource development needs. Despite ongoing work by various development partners, the capacity of the various transport agencies still needs to be strengthened. For example, the roads department of the MRDI has evolved into a network manager and contract administrator but internally lacks the skills to efficiently deliver projects. At ministry level the situation also needs improvement: less than 50% of MOESD staff working on transport-related issues are qualified or have received formal education in a transport-related discipline, and it is estimated that 90% of staff members require short-term training to handle their respective assignments, while 20% need post-graduate specializations. There is an urgent need to build transport planning capacity especially within MOESD.
5. Ability to prioritize between transport projects. As noted in the ADB's Georgia Transport Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map, Georgia would benefit from a framework for prioritization between competing projects in the transport sector, which would enable them to more efficiently allocate scare resources for transport projects across all transport modes.