Thames Tideway Tunnel, UK Government "Pre-Funded Risk Reserve"

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Since tenders were returned on 15th May 2015 to finance and become the Infrastructure Provider for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, please reveal the terms and extent of the UK Government's "Pre-Funded Risk Reserve" supporting this project.

When replying, please confirm the following:-
1. the number of tenders received
2. the names of those who submitted a tender
3. the names of those who submitted a compliant tender
4. the tender totals
5. Who from Defra was present at the tender opening?

Yours faithfully,

Roland Gilmore

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

<<20150528 RFI7518 TTT Project Acknowledgement.pdf>>  

Dear Mr Gilmore,

Please see the attached acknowledgement of your request for information.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Shotton

Information Rights Team

[1][email address]

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

<<20150615 RFI7518 Thames Tideway Tunnel Response.pdf>>  

Dear Mr Gilmore,

Please see the attached response to your request for information.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Shotton

Information Rights Team

[1][email address]

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Information Requests (DEFRA),

Although I can understand the embarrassment felt by Thames Water and the UK Government in this matter, I do not accept that making the information requested public is counter to the public interest. Does your response not indicate that the IP "tender" process itself was not a true tender, in the normally accepted meaning of the word, since the result of that tender is being unreasonably withheld from the public?

It has been reported in the media (e.g. Reuters) that only two consortia are left in the competition for “IP”, the new utility which is to receive a licence from OFWAT to build and operate The Thames Tideway Tunnel for Thames Water.

In the Reasons Notice” of the Specification for The Thames Tideway Tunnel Project (June 2014), the Sec. of State stated (ref. Para 43):-

"If delivered through an IP, the SIP Regulations require the project and its financing to be put out to competitive tender. Provided that there are sufficient bidders to achieve competitive tension, it can be reasonably assumed that the resulting financing costs will represent fair market price and both OFWAT and investors will recognise this as an appropriate WACC."

Thames Water and the new IP, as "water undertakers”, have to comply with The Utilities Contract Regulations 2006, Schedule 1, in respect of the bidding and award of major contracts.

In addition, in HM Treasury’s Guide on Procurement for complex investments in infrastructure assets, e.g. PFI, PPP, etc., [HM Treasury / OGC: “Competitive Dialogue in 2008”], state:-

(a) [ref. para 5.2.5]: “The number (of bidders) invited to participate in the dialogue needs to be sufficient to ensure genuine competition and must be a minimum of three provided that there are that many suitably qualified candidates”; and

(b) [ref. para 5.2.6]: where there is an inadequate bidder response, the Contracting Authority must consider if the procurement should proceed or not (cf. Single Bidder Situations: Box 5.7)”.

Box 5.7 (p.27) states that:

"Market failure or lack of competition occurs when there is only a single (or no) bidder for a project, or perhaps where there are two or more bidders but only one is considered to be credible. In the absence of competitive tension a bidder is not appropriately incentivised to offer its best price, terms and conditions. Consequently value for money will be difficiult to achieve unless other steps can be taken to secure it. The Contracting Authority should carry out a thorough review before deciding on the way forward. If it concludes that it is not possible to take appropraite additional action to secure value for money, the procurement should be halted at that point".

Given that there are only two bidders for the IP ownership and financing and that questions have been raised as to whether TTT is Value for Money or even needed, is it not, therefore, appropriate that the bidding for IP be halted so that these matters can be properly and transparently resolved, not least as this £4.2bn [at 2012 prices] "vanity project” [ref. Pub. Accts Ctee Jan 2014] will have to be paid for by 14 million or more, hard working UK citizens living in the Thames Valley?

Yours sincerely,

Roland Gilmore

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dear Mr Gilmore,

Thank you for your request for an internal review.

We will be handling the review under the Freedom of Information Act, and will aim to respond to you within 40 working days (i.e. by 11 August 2015).

If for any reason there are delays I will make sure that you are kept informed.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Shotton
Information Rights Team
[email address]

show quoted sections

Information Requests (DEFRA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Gilmore,
 
Please see the attached response to your request for an internal review.
Please also accept my sincerest apologies for the time it has taken to
process your request.
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
Information Rights Team
 

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org