New meter readers are walking city streets from this month as the details of the change in the city’s maintenance contract shake out.
Downer significantly under-bid Christchurch company City Care in March for the contract which covers all of the city’s underground water, wastewater and stormwater assets.
Datacol is taking over the water meter reading for Tauranga city.
City council staff won’t comment on the amount, but say the Downer contract was run through a Request For Proposal process, as opposed to a straight lowest price bid.
The tender assessment was made on a range of attributes, which eventually put Downer in the position of being the preferred tenderer. From there they then entered into a price negotiation phase. If that had failed it would have fallen to the next preferred tenderer to enter negotiations.
The competitive tender process produced a shortlist of three frontrunners including City Care. In February the shortlist was reduced to two suppliers, by which time City Care were out of the tender process.
The contract, which includes mechanical and electrical maintenance of pump stations, plus maintenance of the city’s stormwater drainage reserves, is worth around $5million per year.
Downer took over the contract from City Care on July 1. It is a four year contract, with potential to be extended annually for four further years depending on performance.
Downer’s sub-contractor DataCol will be responsible for the meter reading and data management of the city’s 51,900 water meters.
DataCol brings to the city a wealth of experience from the water, gas, electricity and agricultural sectors, says DataCol chief executive officer Bruce Franks.
DataCol has also been contracted to Watercare Services Ltd, the water services division of the Auckland City Council, for the past four years, and are responsible for 87 per cent of all of the Super City’s water meter readings.
“This new partnership is further evidence of the Tauranga City Councils outstanding customer focus for ratepayers,” says Bruce.
“Our years of experience and expertise have allowed DataCol to promise to deliver a ‘best in class’ service standard, setting a zero tolerance level for meter reading errors.”
Bruce says the company’s reputation and success has attracted attention from other councils around New Zealand as well as international interest.
“We’ve set the bar high for ourselves, and it’s something that we’re quite proud of. The challenge is keeping that high standard of service and it’s something we’ve been able to do and will now be delivering to the city of Tauranga.”
Established in 1999, DataCol has more than 200 employees and contractors and gained widespread recognition for its service commitment and levels of innovation. It is a fully owned subsidiary of New Zealand energy distribution company Electra.
DataCol has offices in New Zealand and Australia. The Electra Group’s turnover is around $74million with total assets of $261million.