Following on from the publication of the notice in the supplement to the Official Journal 2006/S 131-140586 Published on 13/07/2006, please see attached tender documentation.
The Department has launched a regional airports capital expenditure grants scheme, which has been recently forwarded to the six regional airports inviting applications by 15th September 2006. Proposals are invited from consultants who would assist the Department in assessing proposals to be submitted by the regional airports under the two measures outlined in the scheme
As indicated in section 8 of the RFT document, queries in connection with the tender documentation will be accepted by the Department until 25th August 2006.
The attached RFT does not constitute the full tender pack, which should be requested as indicated in the published EU notice section 1.2 and 1.3.
Queries and Responses received to date are as follows:
Question 1: Can you please confirm that the closing date for receipt of Tenders is Monday 4th September, 2006 @ 12 noon.
Response 1: The Department confirms the closing date for receipt of tenders is Monday 4th September 2006 @ 12 noon.
Question 2: Can you give some guidance as to the scope of the work that might be involved e.g. expected number of projects to be assessed, expected time input by consultant, or fee
Response 2: It is not possible to give guidance on the number and scale of projects, over and above the information in the tender pack already sent to prospective tenderers. There are six regional airports, each of which could potentially submit several projects of varying degrees of complexity, and the full picture will not be known until the closing date for project submission. It is a matter for tenderers to arrive at conclusions about resources and fees, etc.
Question 3: The first task for the consultant is to Provide advice on projects to be approved and particularly those Measure 1 safety and security projects which can receive specific approval without in-depth economic or financial appraisal. Would it be necessary for us to have air travel safety/security expertise on our team for this task, or would it be sufficient to rely on Departmental or IAA expertise?
Response 3: The role of the Department /IAA in relation to these projects will be to make an assessment of their priority status in terms of the problems they seek to address and the validity of the proposed solutions. The consultants will be required to look at the detailed aspects of those solutions and to advise on (a) their appropriateness and timing e.g. whether the particular works/equipment in question constitute an adequate/inadequate/excessive response in each case, having regard to relevant industry norms - and (b) the accuracy and robustness of the associated cost/estimates. This would require the consultants to have at their disposal expert knowledge of the sector.
Question 4: Can you give guidance on the extent of analysis of Measure 1 projects, where full economic appraisal is not considered necessary?
Response 4: The role of the consultants in relation to these projects is described in Response 3 and the extent of their analysis would depend on whatever is necessary to provide the required advice in each case.
Question 5: Will projects involving start-up aid to airlines be open to consideration?
Response 5: As the scheme is confined to capital grants, this is unlikely to be an issue.
Question 6: Do you envisage that consultants will visit each airport to discuss their applications for funding or do you see this as a desk job?
Response 6: It is not solely a desk job as such. It is reasonable to expect that there will be some direct interaction, including a site visit, with the regional airports to enable the consultants to obtain a good understanding of the approach by management and the overall coherence and rationale of the programmes and projects as presented under measure 1 and 2 of the scheme.
Question 7: Do you see the "economic and financial appraisal" by the consultants as a review of information submitted by the airports (i.e. a due diligence exercise) or will it also include any original research ?
Response 7: In the timescale envisaged, it is expected that the consultants would review chiefly the information submitted by the airports or any clarification of that information that can be obtained following direct interaction as mentioned.
Question 8: Will you expect the consultants to chase the airports for information missing from their applications or for further details where aspects of their submissions are considered inadequate, or (given the short timescales) is this a "single pass" evaluation? - i.e. should we expect to base our conclusions on the submissions as they come, whether comprehensive or not?
Response 8: It is reasonable to assume that the work of the consultants will be primarily based on the submissions as presented. However if there are issues that can be addresses with the regional airports through direct interaction and a site visit as referred to in the response to question 6, clearly this would be helpful to the evaluation process.
As indicated in the RFP consultants may need to identify in their final report projects where there is apparent merit but which require additional information in certain areas. Direct interaction with the regional airports would help to minimise the information gap but it may not be possible to close that gap in all cases in the timescale envisaged.
Question 9: Is there available a provisional list and description/value of projects being considered by the regional airports? If not, how many individual projects are expected and what is the expected range of project values?
Response 9: There is no provisional list in relation to possible projects. Further information in Response 2.
Question 10: We understand that the Airports Division would have the primary responsibility for identifying Measure 1 projects in consultatation with the IAA and ASD but that the consultants are required to advise on the appropriateness of the projects. We would appreciate if you could expand on the role of the Airports Division/IAA/ASD combined and the consultants with regard to Measure 1 projects and broadly what % of total safety and security assessment is envisaged to be undertaken by each.
Response 10: See Response 3
Question 11: What type of Measure 1 projects are envisaged? Would the majority of these be inside or outside the terminal buildings?
Response 11: Measure 1 projects are as defined in section 1of the RFT. Until the airports present their proposals it is not possible to indicate the balance between terminal and other projects under Measure 1.
Question 12: Are consultants required to consider the technical feasability of projects, eg. runway, terminal, baggage handling capacity, choke points, etc.
Response 12: Yes
Question 13: Can you supply a copy of the "standard application form" (as referred to in paragraph 1 of the RFT) that regional airports will submit to the Department of Transport?
Response 13: Yes. Please find the document attached as a PDF
Question 14: In section 5.2 of the Request for Tender, it is stated that the contract duration is proposed to run from Mid September to end 2006. The main report is required by end October 2006. What is required of the consultants in the period post delivery of the main report to end 2006? For example, are they required to assess any additional information that may be provided by the regional airports post delivery of the main report? If work is to be undertaken post delivery of the main report, would it be acceptable to provide daily rates for any work undertaken and exclude this from the fixed price quotation as required in Section 3.3?"
Response 14: As indicated in the Request for Tender, this is a fixed price contract running from mid-September 2006 to the end of the year, with the main element of the assignment the report on the assessment of applications received from the regional airports expected by end October. However, it would be prudent for tenderers to make a contingency provision to allow, for example, for the possibility of unforeseen delays in producing a definitive report, or for the possibility that further information gathering/analysis in the period up to the end of the year might be necessary in some cases. How this factor is to be accommodated or described within the fixed price quotation is a matter for the tenderers to decide.