The (never) ending story of the truck toll system – a contract theory view
After long-lasting negotiations, representatives of the Federal Government and the consortium Toll Collect signed a 17,000 pages contract on 20 September, 2002. It was fixed that Toll Collect had to develop and afterwards operate a system for the automatic collection of a satellite-supported distance-based truck toll until the end of August 2003. However, technical difficulties in the development of the new system led to delays to an unexpected extent. In this article, it is examined whether the results of the renegotiations that followed were consistent to the economics of contract theory. It can be shown that both contracting parties were bound to the contractual relation, so that the preliminary termination of the contract by the Federal Minister of Transport on 17 February, 2004 became void by an agreement only few days later. Additionally, it could be identified that the contract set correct incentives for both parties, Federal Government and Toll Collect, and covered the possibility of efficient renegotiation.