The approach of Specific Maintenance Groups (SMGs) was introduced by RAP3 in 2016 as a new and alternative method for undertaking Specific Maintenance; repairs to localised access bottlenecks ('critical sections' or repairs following emergency incidents) on the Local Road Network (LRN). Typically where the works are relatively straightforward they were traditionally performed through Users Committees (UCs). However the use of UCs had become beset with the problems including:
- Tendencies to subcontract their labour-based earnings by hiring machinery or other sub-contractors.
- Tendencies to procure their own materials and supplies with resulting quality and transparency issues.
- Selection of UC members was often poorly controlled resulting in political nominations and artificial name lists.
- Numbers of workers were often grossly excessive resulting in a workforce that was not competent (untrained), ill-equipped (not enough gear to go around) and poorly managed.