Client and contractor roles

Client and contractor roles

A – The Role of the Client

The following sections cover the responsibilities which should be undertaken by the Client in an FRS where the Client and Contractor roles within the transport organisation are separated.

The client would normally be employed by the FRS and be responsible to the Chief Officer for the operation of the transport and engineering within the Service.  In certain FRSs these may also be combined with other roles and responsibilities.


  • Section 1: Fleet Management and Administration
  • Section 2: Management of Vehicle and Equipment Repair and Maintenance Contracts
  • Section 3: Purchase and Disposal of Vehicles, Equipment and Plant
  • Section 4: Management, Safety and Welfare of Client Staff

Client Responsibilities: Fleet Management and Adminstration

1.1 Ensuring that all transport legislation is brought to the attention of all Service personnel and incorporated into Service policy/orders where applicable.

1.2 The safe, cost effective, environmentally sound and legal operation of the Service’s fleet of vehicles/equipment and plant.  This role should mirror that of the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) Licence holder in a commercial operator’s Licence fleet.

1.3 Ensuring the legal compliance of the Service’s fleet and driver/operators in respect of drivers’ hours (where applicable), accident procedures, safe loading, vehicle care and the recording of same.

1.4 Ensuring compliance with Ministry of Transport (MOT) testing, licensing of vehicles and Department of Transport requirements as regards plating and testing.

1.5 Ensuring that Large Goods Vehicle (LGV), Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) and ordinary licences of Service personnel are current and renewed as required by statute, together with maintenance of appropriate records.

1.6 Photocard driving licence requires renewal every 10 years.  Consider the use of “Licence Link” or similar, this helps all employers simplify the routine task of regularly checking driver license information through a web-based system – something made essential by the recent introduction of risk-management legislation.

1.7 The provision of technical information to the Service.

1.8 Determining the appropriate levels of competence of drivers and operators in driving, operating and maintaining vehicles, equipment and plant.

1.9 The provision and maintenance of a fleet management system to ensure the recording of new vehicle and plant data and information from the Contractor relating to the maintenance and repair of the fleet.  Removal of information on disposed vehicle and plant to archive facility.

1.10 Ensuring the fleet management system is used to ensure the most effective, efficient and economic operation of the Service’s fleet by use of the various management tools incorporated into the system.

1.11 Ensuring the full and effective use of the fleet maintenance system and to ensure the accuracy of current data by the regular updating of information.

1.12 The provision and maintenance of an asset register for all vehicles, equipment and plant ensuring it is updated on a regular basis, with regular reports on the status of the fleet being produced.

1.13 The investigation and reporting of accidents involving personnel, vehicles and equipment.

1.14 All insurance matters affecting the fleet, estimates for repairs, contractors for repairs, inspection of completed work, liaison with insurance company representatives on any problems arising.

1.15 Risk management (Risk Assessments) of vehicles and equipment, accident and insurance claims and provision of statistical data.

1.16 The control and management of staff concerned with the monitoring of contractor’s performance, including:

  • Random quality inspections at stations and workshops
  • New vehicles, equipment and plant
  • Non contract work
  • Warranty work
  • Insurance repair work
  • Fuel
  • Lubricants
  • Annual vehicle, equipment and plant testing

1.17 Prepare annual Capital and Revenue Budgets for:

  • Vehicle equipment and plant renewals and/or growth
  • Repair and maintenance
  • Licences (vehicles and drivers)
  • Tyres
  • Insurance
  • Fuel
  • Lubricants
  • Annual vehicle, equipment and plant testing

1.18 Control and monitoring of expenditure against above headings 1.16, production of exception reports and taking necessary action.

1.19 Liaison with accountants regarding depreciation, life and costs.

1.20 Controlling the overall costs of the transport organisation’s buildings (where appropriate) giving due regard to:

  • Building maintenance
  • Building alterations
  • Heating systems
  • Maintenance of adequate records of all alterations, repairs and maintenance

1.21 Setting and maintaining technical standards for ‘bought in’ items for use at fire stations e.g. fuel, lubricants, tyres, bulbs, batter chargers etc.

1.22 The provision of Technical Service Bulletins to the Contractor containing information received from vehicle and equipment suppliers/manufacturers.

1.23 Maintain liaison with individuals and bodies concerned with the operation and manufacture of vehicles and equipment, e.g. other Transport Officers/Engineers, Firefighting Vehicle Manufacture Association Driving & Vehicle Licence Agencies.  Vehicle Inspectorate, professional institutions etc.

1.24 Legal requirements as a vehicle is now a place of work.

Note. These following items apply if the Client is responsible for the workshop and Contractor’s premises.

1.25 Administration of all insurance requirements with regards to building, plant and equipment.  The maintenance of records of test of all equipment etc. for insurance purposes.  Systems and processes for conforming to The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

1.26 Overseeing the maintenance and defect reporting of all premises within the Client control ensuring economical use of resources.

1.27 In conjunction with the Contractor the repair of equipment and the purchase of new/replacement equipment.

1.28 Consider the management of the following areas:

  • Training of all staff both technical and administrative
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Management of road risk
  • Reporting Incidents Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)
  • Does it have/can the organisation achieve BS/ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems,
  • BS/ISO 140001 Environment Management Systems,
  • BS/ISO 31000 Risk Management – Principles and guidelines.
  • Measuring fleet and building environmental footprint; reducing emissions of CO2, NOx and particulate matter; reducing fuel consumption; managing water efficiently on pumping appliances; assessing alternative fuels and vehicle design features to improve environmental performance.
  • Monitoring and enforcement of Key Performance Indicators

Management of Vehicle and Equipment Repair and Maintenance Contracts

2.1 Arrange repair and maintenance contracts for vehicles and equipment in line with Best Value requirements, including regular market testing.

2.2 Determine appropriate maintenance requirement (content and frequency for all items.  Produce check-lists/schedules.

2.3 Progressing work through the Contractor’s workshops, including the determination of Service priorities.

2.4 Agreement of costs and authorisation of “contract chargeable” and “non- contract” work.

2.5 Determine annual R & M budget, monitor expenditure against budget, report and advise accordingly.

2.6 Check Contractor’s pro-forma invoice, agree with Contractor and pay accordingly.

2.7 Check and process individual repair invoices.

2.8 Collect, verify and record downtime data.  Produce reports.  Negotiate payment of penalties on Contractor if appropriate.

2.9 Carry out quality control checks on work done by Contractor and ensure compliance with the specification.  Are ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 140001 Environment Management Systems, ISO 31000 Risk Management – Principles and guidelines in use?

2.10 Investigate claims by Contractor of operator abuse.

2.11 Dealing with complaints from user or Contractor concerning the vehicle maintenance function.

2.12 Receive day-to-day reports of vehicle defects and breakdowns, including provision of 24 hour – 7 day cover, pass defects to appropriate contractor section for rectification and monitor action taken.

2.13 Regularly review the maintenance requirements (content and frequency) to ensure changes in the Service fleet are being covered within the contract.

2.14 Hold regular meetings with the Contractor and/or his senior staff to discuss vehicle servicing, repairs to the fleet, breakdowns, modifications and conversions, quality, promised dates/turnaround, major problems or concerns affecting the fleet and/or operation of the contract.

2.15 Assess the environmental impact of vehicle maintenance activities and agree a strategy with the Contractor to mitigate these, e.g. by using sustainable materials and optimizing delivery/collection schedules to reduce unnecessary journeys.

Purchase and Disposal of Vehicles, Equipment and Plant

3.1 Preparation of relevant information and statistics required for the renewal of vehicles, equipment and plant within the Service.

3.2 To be responsible for the receipt and allocation of all new vehicles, equipment and plant and the timely disposal of obsolescent items.

3.3 Preliminary market research to identify technical options and inform manufacturers of vehicles and equipment (including the suppliers of specialist accessories and bodywork) of upcoming requirements.

3.4 Preparation of procurement strategy, detailed requirement or output-based specifications and tender documentation.  Depending on the procurement strategy chosen this may involve mini-competitions under existing frameworks or a full procurement process advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) if valued above threshold.

3.5 [If not using existing framework] Publication of OJEU contract notice and pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), inviting expressions of interest from suppliers.

3.6 Evaluation of PQQs and invitation of selected suppliers to tender.  Notification to all applicants of outcome of evaluation.

3.7 Issue tender documentation to selected bidders including specification, award criteria and draft contract terms/service level agreement.

3.8 Evaluation of tenders and scoring against award criteria.  Notification to all bidders of outcome of evaluation and application of standstill period before contract award.

3.9 Publication of Contract Award Notice in OJEU.

3.10 Progress of orders with suppliers or manufacturers and inspection of items in build if necessary.

3.11 Receipt and acceptance of new items, recording of technical details for inclusion in the inventory.  Standard documentation to cover inspections and acceptance for example.

3.12 Authorisation of new item invoices for payment.  Dealing with payment queries by suppliers.

3.13 Arrangements for commissioning with suppliers and users, including operator training if necessary.

3.14 Arrange for de-commissioning of old items.  Awareness of inappropriate, unauthorised use of vehicles i.e. “Trojan vehicles” issues for both vehicles and equipment.

3.15 Determine method of disposal, again Trojan vehicles /equipment.  Make necessary arrangements in line with current legislation (Waste Carriers License etc.) including transportation.

3.16 Complete disposal documentation, notification of Driver & Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) etc.

3.17 Arrange refund on vehicle excise licence if appropriate.

3.18 Ensure Vehicle insurance database is amended accordingly

Business Management Safety and Welfare

4.1 The notification of any irregularities immediately to a Principal Officer.

4.2 Reporting to a Principal Officer any complaints against the Service or any matters or circumstances likely to result in criticism or capable of bringing discredit to the Service.

4.3 Ensuring that the requirements of Health And Safety At Work Act (HASAWA) (other legislation) and associated directives are complied with and the general welfare of staff is maintained.  Equality and Diversity.  Management of Occupational Road Risk.

4.4 The maintenance and supervision of all records and inventories including the recording of any training.

4.5 The interpretation and dissemination of Service policies and regulations to staff within the Department and ensuring that they are carried out.

4.6 The efficiency and training of all Client and administrative staff in accordance with Service policy, to maintain satisfactory human relationships and provide leadership.

4.7 Overseeing the maintenance of discipline.

4.8 Monitoring the absences of personnel and any reports appertaining thereto.

4.9 Ensuring the co-ordination and continuity of the activities of staff.

4.10 Responsible for the conduct and safety of any visitors to the department.

4.11 Business continuity planning for crises that could affect your operation:-

Natural disaster such as flooding or storms, theft or vandalism of computer equipment, machinery or vehicles; fire; power cut short or long term; fuel or water shortage; IT system failure/s; restricted access to premises e.g. major gas leak, area flooded; loss or illness of key staff; outbreak of disease or infection; terrorist attack and contractor business failure.  For any of the above consider how you would manage work area recovery; emergency office/s; recovery of telephony, e-mail, network, data centre and mobile IT; online data back-up.  Consider the use of an organization that specialises in this work.

4.12 Integration of Fleet Management systems where the Contractor uses an alternative system.