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Balqa Micro PSP

Background

Following the impressive success of the micro-PSP implemented to increase the efficiency of water administration in Madaba, the Government of Jordan has decided to replicate this project within other administration units of the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ).

The Jordanian Cabinet of Ministers thus approved private sector participation in customer service management for the Karak and Balqa water administrations.

The key challenges that the Water Authority of Jordan was facing within these administrations, and which they felt would benefit from private sector participation were weak water and wastewater customer services, a lack of information technology to effectively disseminate information and the need to integrate GIS–based tools to support decision-making.

In 2010 Engicon O&M was awarded the contract to manage the subscribers' section of the Balqa Water Administration for three years.

Implementation began immediately beginning with a preparatory period, and the results for this stage and continuing into the first year of performance demonstrated a high level of improvement in billing and collection. There was also significant progress in the use of GIS and Information and Communication Technology from the onset.      

Required Services

The Balqa governorate covers an area of 1,120 km2 and is home to a population of 375,000 inhabitants. At the start of the micro-PSP the Balqa Water Administration (BWA), which had 64,000 subscribers, suffered from several deficits. These were mainly in the areas of meter reading, billing and collection.

Under the micro-PSP contract, o Engicon O&M were required to provide the following services on behalf of BWA:

  • Manage new water and wastewater customers
  • Enhance and execute the billing and revenue collection processes
  • Manage the Geographical Information System (GIS) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) units
  • Implement GIS-based tools
  • Redesign the Balqa governorate customer information system and sewage database .

To begin work and effectively evaluate the results, implementation was done in two phases. The Phase I preparatory period entailed assessing the current situation, planning and equipping. This was directly followed by the Phase II implementation period.

General Objectives

The following objectives were set for the BWA micro-PSP:

  • Improve procedures for handling new water and waste water customers
  • Improve water and wastewater revenues
  • Reduce outstanding customer amounts
  • Improve efficiency of customer management
  • Install computer-aided customer management system
  • Improve technical and administrative capacity of the Balqa customer management center
  • Develop the technical and administrative capacity of the Balqa GIS and ICT units

Achievement and Results

During the preparation phase, Engicon O&M renovated the BWA offices to create a modern customer service facility and to enhance the working environment for employees. Engicon O&M also surveyed and mapped all subscribers, and digitized all surveyed routes within the governorate. This enabled Engicon O&M to assign routes to the meter readers and switch routes between them, in order to eliminate reader monopoly. In addition, a sewerage database system was installed.

To motivate the seconded staff, a bonus scheme was developed and the remuneration procedures were made transparent. Staff was then trained on computer skills, customer care, data entry, and appraisal (for management).

The first performance management year was completed on the 31st of March, 2012.

The results obtained at the end of the first performance management year are summarized as follows:

  1. a.A significant increase in billing and collection. Table1 below summarizes the project achievements over the three years.

Table 1: Improvement in Billing and Collections in the three years

No.

Item

2009 (Base year)

2010

2011

2012

1

Net billed (JOD)

4,805,471

6,559,650

6,939,830

7,913,322

2

Collected (JOD)

4,517,033

4,981,265

7,248,988

7,057,426

3

Billing progress

98%

133%

141%

161%

4

Collection progress

132%

132%

193%

187%

Billing wrt base year

 

137%

144%

165%

Collection wrt base year

 

110%

160%

156%

balqa psp chart

An improved GIS and updated subscriber database. This helped to increase the number of subscriber addresses that were connected to the billing system, which was raised from 88% to 99.75%.