Since 2013, and the setting up of Rail Executive Passenger Services, the Department has separated out the cost of individual Franchise Competitions and Direct Awards. Prior to 2013 such costs are merged within the general costs of running the franchised passenger services and we are unable to disaggregate them from the general costs.
The cost of re-franchising projects since the re-launch of the Franchising Programme in Spring 2013 is £41.4 million. This represents the actual consultancy and non-pay staff costs for the duration of the completed competitions and Direct Awards. This figure includes costs for ongoing competitions and Direct Awards up to and including the end of September.
Franchise competitions are not the result of negotiation, but of open competition. The benefits these competitions bring to the passenger far outweigh the cost to the Department. I also note that the franchising system returned £1.15billion to the taxpayer in financial years 2014/15, and is expected to return a similar amount in 2015/16.