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Railways: Franchises

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL6724, tabled on 7 March 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 3 March (HL6235), what assessment they have made of whether a procurement process where there are only two genuine bidders complies with the EU rules and procedures for public contracts, which state that a minimum of three bids are required, and whether they have sought from the EU a derogation from that rule.

Answered on

16 March 2016

Rail franchising competitions are governed by Regulation 1370/2007 and not the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Therefore, although the Department fully applies the EU treaty principles of transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination, it is not obliged to follow the processes and procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Where a competition is to be held, Regulation 1370/2007 requires a fair competitive procedure, but does not stipulate the minimum number of bidders that is required to evidence this.