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This paper proposes a policy-based quality of service (QoS) management framework for adaptive routing decisions. We present an approach considering interior gateway protocol (IGP) for path discovery mechanisms and QoS-aware policies for configuring the network elements. The integration of the aforementioned modules into this policy-based network management (PBNM) system is demonstrated by conducting experiments in a real environment, the hellenic public administration network SYZEFXIS. These experiments combine different traffic conditioning mechanisms through event detectors, consider IP service level agreement mechanisms that interoperate with the PBNM system and analyze the enforcement of IGP and QoS policies. Finally, validation and measurement tools are used to prove the efficiency of this framework. It is shown that this architecture offers significantly increased performance and learning capabilities, while the PBNM system achieves adaptive QoS routing through automated configuration considering the avoidance of suboptimal routing issues or under-performance conditions of the network entities.