Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (34)

Dan Neville


116 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Transport the plans he has to review the NCT contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6593/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

The car testing contract with National Car Testing Service was signed in December 1998. In accordance with it, NCTS is obliged to provide a car testing service for the State until 31 December 2009. Under the terms of the contract the performance of NCTS is subject to an annual review which can cover the results of NCT inspections, planned or random sample test inspections, customer satisfaction surveys, the audited financial statements, the company's financial position, customer complaints, the extent of compliance with performance standards and quality accreditation matters.

The main inputs to the annual review are generated by the Department's rolling supervision of the NCTS with the assistance of a consortium consisting of the Automobile Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The consortium provides the Department with the necessary engineering, financial, legal, operations research and market research inputs in order to gauge the company's performance against the specified performance standards.

In addition the contract provides for a mid-term review to take place five years into the contract. While the mid-term review will cover matters dealt with in annual reviews, its overall focus will be more strategic in nature.

It is my intention, prior to the mid-term review, to seek comments from all interested parties for consideration as part of the review.