Friday, 12 October 2012

Richard Brown's remit - some thoughts

This from Sir Charles Trevelyan... 

Given the lack of a published remit for Richard Brown might I volunteer the following?

Eye readers will no doubt have their own thoughts which they may wish to add? 

Brown Review Remit

Review the rail franchising programme, and determine the changes which are necessary to ensure that;
  •  Government’s value for money is secured;
  • The appropriate balance of financial risk transfer to the private sector is achieved;
  • Innovation, efficiency, modal shift and growth is promoted;
  • The competitive market for bidding is enhanced, with a particular focus on encouraging new entrants and smaller players;
  • The best outcome for customers is secured 
In particular, the review should consider;
  • How the bidding process can be simplified and shortened to reduce costs;
  • The balance between detailed specification of outputs, efficiency, and risk
  • Whether alternative models have a role in some, or all, franchise areas.  This should include, although not be limited to;
-   Operating concessions, where funders retain revenue risk and control of specified outputs
-   Devolution to local and sub national consortia – noting that this could operate on a franchise or concession basis
-   Longer operating licences for commercial franchise propositions, based around an annual fee or tariff
-   An extension of the DOR concept

In conducting the review, cognisance should be taken of the previous work on franchise reform, and in the McNulty study.  The wider rail industry should be given the opportunity to contribute its ideas to the work.

The report should be submitted to Ministers by 31 December 2012. 

Further contributions welcome.

UPDATE: This forthright suggestion from Sinoda...

If soon to be Baron Brown of the Broom Cupboard is short of suggestions, perhaps the question oft-posed by 'The World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondant' could be addressed as follows?

"What is franchising for?"

Better known as the 'Wolmar Question'.