Procurement for your service

When buying in services from an outside organisation, procurement helps you ensure value for money. For example:

  • if your parish needs a shopper service, you might ask the local CVS to operate it on your behalf
  • you might need a taxishare service, which you will pay a local taxi operator to run
Create a service specification document

Draw up a service specification. This document:

  • lists the requirements of your service
  • outlines your expectations of the external service provider

Once you decide on a service operator, the specification can form the basis of your contract.

The service specification should answer the following questions:

  • What service are you providing?
  • How long will the service run for?
  • What size of vehicle(s) do you require?
  • Does the vehicle require wheelchair access?
  • Where will passengers be collected and dropped off?
  • What days and times will your service run? (Include a timetable if you have one)
  • How do you take bookings for the process? (Include any details)
  • How much will you charge passengers for the service?
  • Will the operator keep the fares or pass them back to you?
  • When and how should the operator invoice you?
  • What information should the operator collect for monitoring purposes? (E.g. number of passengers, fares collected)

If you are contracting your local CVS to run a service on your behalf, the service specification is all you need to do. If you are working with a private organisation, it is better to tender your service.

Tendering your service

Tendering is the process of getting more than one quote for the same service. This ensures you get the best value for money.

  • Give your service specification to several operators
  • Ask each operator to submit a price for the service

Be clear what price you are asking for (e.g. price per journey/day/mile). You could design a simple quote form for operators to complete, sign and date.

Selecting an operator

Once you have selected an operator to work with, meet with them to discuss the details. For example:

  • What happens if the vehicle breaks down?
  • How will the service run if the operator is sick or on holiday?

Establish a good relationship with your operator, and your service will be more efficient.

Advice

For advice on procurement or tendering, contact:

Community Transport Team
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Hampshire County Council

Phone: 01962 846785
Email: community.transport@hants.gov.uk