Expert consultation: Consulting engineers and their role in the investment process
GZS, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, 2. October 2015
Slovenko Henigman, director of SLOMAN Ltd., and ZSI at Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
The maintenance and development of Slovenia's transport infrastructure is one of the most important topics in the next period. The investment drought that has been dragging for more than 5 years has not yet ended. Besides the implementation of individual railway projects in the recent period, we do not have much to show.
The Slovenian government has already adopted a strategy for the development of transport infrastructure. On its basis, we should complete the program as soon as possible and accept an operational program based on constant and even financial resources and start to realize that program.
The projection of plans of the Ministry of Infrastructure (MZI) on the basis of the 2016 - 2017 Draft Budget shows - see the year 2015 - a decrease in investments by 283 million EUR, or a drop in investments by 30%. If such a reduction actually occurs in the next two years we will again reach the historical bottom of investments in Slovenia. Because in recent years we have learned the consequences of such a situation, action is urgently needed.
In particular, we see two options for action, namely by providing purposed funds – from the Infrastructure Fund and with the accelerated investment activity of DARS, by investing in development projects and the necessary upgrading and restoration of overloaded motorways.
Finally, in the operational program, a plan for investments in transport infrastructure should be drawn up, which will ensure uniformity with several annual sliding plans for the whole and for the individual transport sector (mainly roads and railways). In order to build and watch over these plans, a smaller professional team of experts should be identified from the existing structures at the MZI. However, the operational part of the task should be entrusted to consulting engineering with knowledge and experience.
The "Golden Rule" of investment in transport infrastructure is described above. Organized and economically developed countries work exactly as described and on the example of Austria.
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