You want to participate in school transportation in your district. And then this: The award documents stipulate that you are to consult with parents and, for example, ensure hazard-free footpaths.
Some districts believe the carrier should take care of everything and everyone. It is popular to require the school transportation provider to maintain an up-to-date list of parent contact information to be aware of “special considerations.” It is equally popular to require the school transportation provider to ensure a “safe route from the stop to the transportation vehicle and from the transportation vehicle to the school grounds.”
What to do?
First of all: Don’t just accept it. Act immediately (preferably with legal support). If you have a problem with the specifications of a public contracting authority in a public procurement procedure, then reprimand. Do not point out, criticize, complain, or issue “clarifying notices” or “binding concretizations.” Do not express your lack of understanding, do not suggest “optimizations”. But rather: Complain. And, please, by the deadline!
And in terms of content?
The core question is what is principal duty, what is parent duty, and what is ultimately your duty. In school transportation, several areas of responsibility overlap and it is not always easy to distinguish between them. The contractual requirement to maintain contact with parents — as a rule: free of charge — is one such hybrid. For example, it is necessary to carefully examine whether or not the county complies with the requirements that the responsible party or joint responsible party has in a possible contract processing. Also, it is not obvious why you should give away data processing services. So, in case of doubt, you should resist a dubious “list keeping” obligation before it is “in the contract”, whatever the validity of the relevant provision then is. With regard to the guarantee of “non-hazardous” routes, in our view it would be an unreasonable complication of the calculation — and thus contrary to procurement law — to impose on you route guarantee obligations that are detached from the actual transport. It must also be clear that you cannot park the transport vehicle in the middle of a construction site. Ultimately, therefore, it depends on the individual case.
Feel free to call anytime at 0341 910 28405. “Abante Rechtsanwälte” is active in public procurement and contract law nationwide. We will give you a first overview of your options by telephone, free of charge and without obligation.
*This legal tip is no substitute for legal advice in individual cases. By its very nature, it is incomplete, it does not relate to your case, and it also represents a snapshot, as the legal basis and case law change over time. It cannot and does not cover all conceivable constellations, serves maintenance and initial orientation purposes and is intended to motivate you to clarify legal issues at an early stage, but not to discourage you from doing so.