The Roads Fund Administration (RFA) allocates and disburses funds from the Roads Fund to the following implementing agencies for the execution of Roads Fund related activities and matters:
The Roads Authority – for the management of the national road network
Local Assemblies (City, Municipal, Town or District) – for management of roads, tracks and trails within their jurisdiction
The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services – for management of matters relating to traffic management, safety of person and animals on public roads and axle load control.
Working Relationship with the Roads Authority
The relationship between the RFA and the Roads Authority is governed by a Procedures Agreement signed between the two organisations. The Procedures Agreement is essentially a performance agreement and contains such particulars as are necessary to enable the RFA assess whether funds accruing to the Roads Authority have been efficiently utilised by it in discharging its functions.
Before the commencement of every financial year, the Roads Authority prepares an Annual National Roads Programme – a consolidation of all annual roads programmes from all road agencies in the country – outlining a comprehensive plan of action for the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads, tracks and trails and the estimated costs of every activity required to implement the plan of action.
The Roads Authority thereafter consults the RFA to match the cost of implementing the Annual National Roads Programme with revenues to be allocated to the Roads Authority by the RFA and to enable the RFA consider the appropriateness of the amount allocated for each class of road. After the consultations, the Roads Authority submits to the Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure the Annual National Roads Programme for approval.
Once approved, it is submitted to the RFA for funding. Funding of the Annual National Roads Programme The RFA funds the Annual National Roads Programme in accordance with a Financing Agreement entered into between the RFA and the Roads Authority at the start of every financial year. The RFA finances a percentage of the Annual National Roads Programme depending on the available financial resources.
The development budget of the Annual National Roads Programme, which largely contains construction and related surveys and monitoring programmes, is funded by the Government of Malawi and its cooperating partners. The recurrent budget of the Annual National Roads Programme, which contains maintenance, rehabilitation and related surveys and monitoring programmes, is funded from the Roads Fund.
The RFA pays directly to contractors and consultants for the works and services funded from the Roads Fund only after they have been certified in writing by the Roads Authority that the works and services have been carried out to the required standard. The operating and capital expenditures for the Roads Authority are also funded from the Roads Fund. Funds for the operating and capital expenditures are advanced to the Roads Authority on a monthly basis in accordance with the approved cash flows included in the Financing Agreement.
Working Relationship with the Local Assemblies
According to Section 19(a) (ii) of the Roads Fund Administration Act, the RFA can, on a cost sharing basis, finance routine and periodic maintenance of roads, tracks and trails under the responsibility of a City, Town, Municipal or District Assembly. Currently, due to the perceived capacity constraints within the local assemblies, the RFA is not funding the local assemblies directly. Instead the Roads Authority implements the local assemblies’ annual roads programmes incorporated into the Annual National Roads Programme.
From the 2010/2011 financial year, the supervision of maintenance of community roads has been devolved to the local assemblies.
Working Relationship with the Directorate of Road Traffic & Safety Services (DRTSS)
The RFA also finances selected road safety, road traffic management including axle load control projects as determined by the RFA Board, in consultation with the Directorate of Road Traffic & Safety Services (DRTSS).
The RFA pays directly to the suppliers of goods and Designated sources of funds for the Roads Fund include a percentage of road user levies including tariffs, taxes and tolls as may be determined by the Minister of Finance on recommendation of the RFA Board.
The Road Traffic Directorate collects some of these road user charges but does not currently transmit any part of it to the RFA. The RFA is lobbying the Ministry of Finance to start collecting a percentage of such road user charges.
Designated sources of funds for the Roads Fund include a percentage of road user levies including tariffs, taxes and tolls as may be determined by the Minister of Finance on recommendation of the RFA Board. The Directorate collects some of these road user charges but does not currently transmit any part of it to the RFA. The RFA is lobbying the Ministry of Finance to start collecting a percentage of such road user charges.
Working Relationship with Community Road Maintenance Clubs under the Community Road Maintenance Programme (CRMP)
The Community Road Maintenance Programme (CRMP) is a new road maintenance programme funded by the Roads Fund Administration. The RFA took over the financing of the Income Generating Public Works Programme (IGPWP) which was funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) since August 2005 and was phased out in June 2011. The CRMP is currently in 15 districts working with 257 road maintenance clubs.