In June 2017 the Department for Transport announced a shortlist of bidders to take over the southeastern franchise. There were several problems with available bidders leading to the postponement of the franchise bidding process. To resolve this issue in the short term the Department for Transport extended the existing franchise until ultimately the franchise competition was cancelled. The Department for Transport chose to further extend the current franchise agreement until 2022.
I joined the Direct Award team in late 2019, advising the department on suitable benchmark and payment rate regimes for the franchise direct award. Due to the tight timescales a traditional performance model was not developed, instead aspects of the original competition franchise were rolled forward and adapted to be applied to the new contract.