HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 cc1237-9W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the(a) expected in-service delivery date and (b) cost of the computerised MOT test were when the contract was let; and what they are expected to be now. [159594]

Mr. Jamieson

The information is as follows:

  1. in the original contract the expected start of roll-out date for the computerised service was May 2002 at a transaction charge per recorded test of £1.07.
  2. the current contract stipulates that roll-out of the service should have started by mid-February 2004 with no increase in transaction charge. The start of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's (VOSA) testing has been delayed following slippage in SBS Software and an independent review of progress has 1238W entitle older people to greater travel benefits and in some cases an annual fee is charged for the pass for these alternative schemes. The cost and extent of the alternative pass varies from one local authority to another. Those that charged for the pass for an alternative scheme, following the introduction of the statutory minimum scheme in June 2001, are listed in the following table, which is reproduced from Transport Statistics Bulletin "Concessionary Bus Fares Schemes England 2001", a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library. This is currently being updated and the latest information will be published later this year. Other authorities providing an alternative scheme may offer the pass free of charge.

recommended changes to plans to reduce risk and allow for additional testing. In the light of the review team's recommendations VOSA are discussing a revised programme with SBS. Discussions are not yet complete—but on current expectations the service is unlikely to be rolled out until late 2004.

Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what penalty clauses are available for his Department to invoke should Siemens fail to deliver the computerisation of the MOT test(a) on time, (b) within cost estimates and (c) to the specification. [159595]

Mr. Jamieson

This is a PFI contract between my Department's Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and Siemens Business Services (SBS) and SBS bear the risk of late or unsatisfactory delivery of the service. The contract provides that if MOT Computerisation is not delivered:

  1. on time—SBS would not receive payments under the contract until the computerised service is available to MOT stations and delay would reduce the term of the contract. Therefore SBS would be penalised by extra costs as well as reduced income and profit;
  2. within cost estimates—under the contract SBS would bear the risk of increased development costs. They could also be subject to claims for liquidated and other damages for extra VOSA costs if they are responsible for delays;
  3. to the specification—the system will not be rolled out to MOT stations until it has satisfactorily completed field trials against the specification. SBS would bear the cost of corrective action to meet the specification and of consequent delays and would not receive any payments until the service is operational. Under the contract VOSA can withhold some transaction payments from SBS if the operation of the system does not meet specified minimum service levels.

As with any PFI contract VOSA has termination rights in specified circumstances.

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