Bus Éireann today welcomed the publication of the Farrell Grant Sparks (FGS) Report regarding a review of the School Transport Management Charge stating that the report provides clarification on a range of matters.

Bus Éireann has a long and proud tradition of providing school transport for children dating back over 40 years. The scheme does not generate a profit for Bus Éireann and all monies generated by the scheme are invested back into the scheme. The scheme is a major model of a public private partnership. The FGS report confirms that Bus Éireann co-operated fully with the compilation of the report in a spirit of openness and transparency which greatly facilitated the work FGS were required to undertake as part of their review.

The School Transport Management Charge is comprised of two elements – the direct and administrative service costs. This is an agreed fixed charge of 13% on certain defined Direct Costs. Since 2008 and in view of the serious financial challenges facing the country, the Department has received a rebate from Bus Éireann of an element of this charge. The cumulative value of this rebate to date is some €10.5 million.

The FGS report confirms that the Department of Education & Skills have been billed correctly in accordance with the agreed 1975 Summary of Accounting Arrangements. The report also confirms that the company provided FGS with all the information sought during their review and went further in suggesting and facilitating site visits to local schools offices.

No monies from the School Transport Scheme are used for any other purpose within Bus Éireann other than for school transport. Should a surplus arise in any one year it is clearly identified and reinvested back into the scheme.

Bus Éireann remains committed to providing the best school transport system in the most efficient and economic manner for pupils and families across the country and welcomes FGS’s recognition of our network of local offices with considerable transport management and network planning skills.

We will continue to invest in school transport to improve service quality, delivery and safety standards, and meet our obligations with dedication and professionalism at all times.

To download the report, please click here

Wednesday, 16th April, 2014