* To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if, in the event of the National Transport Authority awarding new licences for public transport bus routes, a competitive and open public tender process will be followed in order to maximise value for public money.
– Seán Kyne.
Under EU law and the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008, as amended, existing public service obligation (PSO) bus services can be procured by the National Transport Authority (NTA) through direct award contracts and any other new subvented services must be procured by way of open tendering.
At the expiry of the current 5 year direct award contracts for the provision of PSO services with Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann the NTA have discretion to renew, modify or terminate the direct award provision of bus services following a consultation process with interested parties under which the NTA is obliged to justify its approach.
In accordance with the commitment in the Programme for Government to explore the benefit to the public transport passenger of more diverse bus service provision, I will be consulting with my Ministerial colleagues soon on the future options for procurement of PSO bus services.