Agenda item

Passenger Transport Services - Dynamic Purchasing System

To agree the future procurement model for passenger transport services.


The cabinet member transport and roads introduced the report.


The head of transport and access services spoke to the report. He explained that the council had three current frameworks in operation, all of which would terminate in July 2018. He summarised the process and timelines for setting up the new dynamic purchasing system and explained that there would not be an ‘end’ to the process as operators would be able to join the system at any time once it was in place.


In response to questions the head of transport and access services confirmed that existing contracts would not come to an end automatically when the current frameworks terminated. Each contract had its own individual termination date. He also confirmed that cross ticketing, especially where more than one operator ran the same route, would be negotiated on a contract by contract basis. It was not recommended to put these conditions in as blanket cover as it might not suit all situations.


Group leaders were invited to give the views of their group.


The leader of the liberal democrat group stated that the proposal sounded like a step forward but queried whether the process would be more bureaucratic and take more staff time. The head of transport and access services responded that in many ways the process was similar to that already in place. There would be some additional work in setting up the new system but once in place operators would be able to receive and submit tender information for contracts electronically which would streamline the process.


The leader of the it’s our county group welcomed the proposal and the proposed best practice learning session with Cardiff City Council, although he queried whether there would also be consideration of best practice in other rural councils. He asked how the risks of insolvency of operators would be assessed as part of the due diligence on new operators joining the system. It was confirmed that the due diligence process would include a number of factors designed to ensure operators were suitable to include in the system and that being part of the new framework would not automatically guarantee work for an operator. Operators would have to tender for contracts as they were advertised and there would be further requirements to be met as part of each tender. With regards to rurality, it was explained that Cardiff City were one of the first councils to use the system and had a number of specific and generic areas that Herefordshire could learn from. There were other rural councils looking to use the same system and Herefordshire would look to pick up best practice from them as well, within the time available.


The leader of the green group stated her group were pleased to see that help would be provided to operators to use the e-tendering process and asked if more expressions of interest were expected through using the new system? She also asked if the category options would impact on the amount of work operators could pick up. In response the head of transport and access services confirmed that the category options were likely to reflect the size of vehicle needed for the work. Operators would be able to choose which categories of tenders they saw rather than receiving every tender that was put out. It was uncertain whether the new system would encourage more operators to come forward but it would reduce the pressure on operators to sign up to the framework in a specific window. Operators could join as and when they were ready and begin tendering for contracts straight away. It was anticipated that it would only take 10 days to turn around applications to join the new framework.


Resolved that:


(a)   a dynamic purchasing system be implemented to be effective from the termination of the current Passenger Transport Frameworks on 10 July 2018; and


(b)   the assistant director environment and place be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to establish and maintain the passenger transport dynamic purchasing system.

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