Written answers

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport Administration

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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175. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to the fact that less than 20% of the school transport scheme route or routes, known as operating boards were open to tender in 2011 and that only 667 operating boards were open to tender in 2011; if she will provide a definitive response to the claim that 20% of school transport operating boards were put out to public tender under the directive is an incorrect statement; if she will provide the exact percentage, the exact number advertised under the directive and the exact number of routes covered in tabular form by the school transport scheme in 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42402/14]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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Bus Éireann has advised that the tendering procedure used by the Company for the provision of school transport services is a competitive procurement process conducted in accordance with the negotiated procedure under Directive 2004/17/EC. Bus Éireann has also advised that many Operating Boards involve more than one school transport route. Frequently separate services to primary and post primary schools appear on a single Operating Board as each vehicle is utilised as fully as possible each day to maximise economy and efficiency, often operating multiple routes coordinated on one Operating Board. Therefore the number of operating boards is not directly comparable with the number of routes operated in any school year.

Under the procurement process, Bus Éireann advertises the establishment of a qualification system each year in respect of a percentage of Contractors Operating Boards. In 2011, Bus Éireann has confirmed that the Company opened some 667 operating boards of existing contracted work to tender and awarded 636 contracts under this exercise.

The figure of 667 operating boards is 20% of the 3,335 Contractors' Operating Boards in the 2011/12 school year. Bus Éireann has provided the attached table which shows the number of contractor operating boards broken down by local Bus Éireann school transport office in the 2011/12 school year. The number of operating boards and contractors vehicles in use at any given time of the year fluctuates and consequently the percentage of the total may vary depending on the time of year the comparison is made.

List of Contractor Operating Boards in 2011/2012 school year

School Transport OfficeContractor Operating Boards in 2011/12 school year


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