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The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2011 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – Environment and Economy which explained the recent market engagement exercise, including a local Industry Day event which had been held to present details of the proposed Mersey Gateway procurement process to firms that were interested in being part of consortia and who could qualify as bidding candidates for the project.
The Board was advised that the work required to prepare for procurement had commenced in November last year, on receiving funding approval from the Spending Review. Progress had been made towards defining the procurement process and the contract framework to be applied. It was reported that before confirming the procurement and contract strategy it was prudent to consult potential suppliers on certain key aspects of the emerging proposals.
The Board was further advised that given that it was expected that Government would clear the project for procurement in time for the formal expression of interest invitation to be published in early summer the market engagement had been launched through a Prior Information Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (The PIN). The PIN had been published during the week of 31st January and responses were invited on the following topics:-
· the process proposed to be adopted for the procurement;
· the proposed payment mechanism ;
· the approach to contaminated land;
· the approach to tolling infrastructure;
· the approach to operational governance arrangements;
· the scope of advance works; and
· the potential for possible alternative contractual and risk sharing
arrangements in relation to the commercial support role for
It was reported that in order to support the market engagement a project information memorandum had been produced which was attached to the report at Annex 1. In addition to the Industry Day event, interested parties were also given the opportunity to meet with the project team on an individual or group basis. To date eight meeting had taken place.
The Board was also advised that responses to the market consultation were required by close on 4th March 2011. A report on the responses to the market consultation would be presented to a future meeting of the Board.
The event, it was reported had focused on the organisations that were competent in forming bidding groups embracing the challenging scope of our requirements to deliver the main Design Build Finance and Operate contract for Mersey Gateway. In addition the project team intended to launch a seminar for the local suppliers (over 200), that were registered on the project local supplier list. Dates and arrangements for the local supplier seminar were under consideration.
It was reported that the high number of organisations present at the Industry day underlined the competitive interest in tendering for the Mersey Gateway DBFO contract. The market engagement at this stage, alerted potential interested parties to the procurement programme and provided the project team with an opportunity to of five or six bidding groups that embraced all the competences that the Council required of a competent bidder and ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – Environment and Economy which gave Members details of the proposed Agreement with Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority that would, in general, establish obligations for the Council when procuring and operating the Mersey Gateway project to consider the impact of tolling and road user charging policy on the Mersey Tunnels.
The Board was advised that a proposed Agreement between the Council and MITA that would establish arrangements for consultation where the MITA would be invited to comment on particular aspects of the Mersey Gateway proposals as they were developed through procurement, construction and into operation. It was reported that the Council was also required to establish a liaison group to facilitate this consultation process. The proposed Agreement was attached to the report at Annex 1.
The Board was further advised that the need for the consultation arose out of the fears to MITA that there was a potential for Mersey Gateway tolling and road user charging policy and operations to have an adverse impact on Mersey Tunnels. The Agreement, did not bind the Council to accept the expressed views of the MITA that were made in response to specific consultation materials. However, the Agreement did require the Council to take the consultation response into account in decisions that were taken, which were related to the consultation response. In taking the response of MITA into account the outcome determined by the Council may not comply with the wishes of MITA and this failure to agree could prompt the matter to be resolved using the Disputes Procedure in the Agreement.
It was reported that in general terms the Council was required to consult the MITA during procurement on the draft tender documentation and the tender evaluation criteria, and the subsequent application of such criteria to the tender results. All information which was covered by a duty of confidence to the tenderers (the bidders) was excluded from this obligation.
It was also reported that towards the end of procurement the Council would be required to consult the MITA before exercising the following functions:-
(a) setting of the tolls within the initial toll range (under paragraph 1 of Schedule 11 of the Order);
(b) the revision of toll ranges (under paragraph 7 of Schedule 11 of the Order);
(c) variations to the classification of vehicles or classes of vehicles in respect of which tolls may be charged (under paragraph 7 of Schedule 11 of the Order);
(d) the granting of exemptions from tolling, discounts or any other waiving or suspending of tolls or charges (or any part of such tolls or charges) under article 41 of the Order or otherwise;
(e) the entry into a concession agreement (under article 43 of the Order and the terms of any such agreement); and
(f) any function the exercise of which is likely to impact on the potential for interoperability between the Mersey Tunnels and the charging of tolls or charges for the passage of vehicles over the new ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – Environment and Economy which gave Members details of the proposed governance arrangements for the next phase of project preparation, which would cover the pre-qualification of private sector firms (the bidders) and the competitive dialogue procurement process, leading to the selection of a preferred bidder and contract execution.
The Board was advised that the Council had established a dedicated project organisation equipped with the authority and resources to deliver the project through the development and preparation phase. The established project delivery structure was set out in Annex 1 of the report. The established arrangements had been reviewed to ensure that they were appropriate to support a robust delivery plan that would progress the project through an intense procurement process.
The Board was further advised that the MGEB was a committee of the Council Executive with terms of reference agreed by the full Council in June 2006. These terms of reference were attached at Annex 2 of the report.
It was reported that a project executive structure based on best project management practice (PRINCE2) reported regularly to the MGEB. In PRINCE2 terms the Chief Executive was the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) who was accountable to the MGEB for the success of the project. The SRO operated with specific project authority as delegated by the MGEB from time to time, where his executive decisions were taken in consultation with the Council Leader.
In addition, the SRO had the support of the Officer Project Board (OPB) to assure robust and effective direction and management of the project. The OPB also provided the SRO with advice, guidance, challenge and scrutiny which was provided by individuals with extensive knowledge and wide experience of delivering projects of the magnitude of Mersey Gateway through both the private and public sector. This ensured that an informed and intelligent client approach could be taken by the SRO in exercising his delegations. The size of the OPB, frequency of meetings and relationships that were in place and would develop, would also ensure that decision-making on the project was not only well informed and robust but was sufficiently agile to make quick decisions wherever necessary.
It was also reported that the procurement phase of delivery would require project decisions to be taken promptly, where authority was exercised at the appropriate level. The current terms of reference plus membership of the MGEB were considered to be appropriate to support procurement. The delivery plan required the authority of the Chief Executive to be clearly stated and understood. Therefore, a scheme of delegation was attached at Annex 3 to the report covering the key project outcomes required to be delivered for a successful procurement and including the acquisition of all property and the completion of the advanced works programme. The MGEB were also requested to approve the scheme of delegation.
The Board noted the potential nominees to be included as members of the Mersey Gateway Officer Project Board.
(1) The Board endorse the ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
MINUTES ISSUED: 18 March 2011
CALL-IN: 28 March 2011
Any matter decided by the Mersey Gateway Executive Board may be called in no later than 5.00pm on 28 March 2011