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.
For advice on procurement or tendering, contact:
Community Transport Team
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Hampshire County Council
Phone: 01962 846785