Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the terms were of the contract entered into between the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency and RoMaha for the PFI to upgrade MOT centres in Northern Ireland under project MOT2; and if he will make a statement on the implementation of the project.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

The contract entered into by the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency required the concessionaire, Romaha, to

"design, build, finance, install, maintain, repair and where necessary substitute and/or replace vehicle testing equipment and to provide all necessary training in respect of the operation of such equipment" to meet current needs, and specified future needs in vehicle testing.

The contract, which was signed on 26 March 2001, called for promulgation of the project to all 15 Agency sites on a rolling basis over a two-year period. A plan was developed between the Agency and Romaha to ensure this was carried out effectively and to minimise disruption to the public. This plan included individual and overall timetables for completion. The contractor adhered rigidly to the timescale, and the rollout programme was completed on 19 September 2003.

Romaha provides a service against the contract for which DVTA pays an agreed unitary payment for this. Particularly poor performance can attract penalty points leading ultimately to contract termination, but the contractor's performance to date has attracted no penalty points. The parties are currently working to improve throughput, which is not yet at the anticipated level. The Agency is also working with the contractor to introduce a number of additional testing requirements catered for in the output specification.

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