DfT signs deal to monitor finances of transport firms

Written by Sam Trendall on 24 May 2022 in News
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Department invests in access to web-based analytics platform

The Department for Transport has signed to access to an online monitoring and analytics service that will allow officials to track the financial performance of transport firms – including keeping tabs on “companies in distress”.

Newly published procurement information reveals that the DfT recently awarded a two-year contract to S&P Global – the financial data and analysis firm best known as the world’s biggest credit-rating agency.

The deal, which came into effect on 11 May and is valued at £76,000, will see the company provide the department with access to its Capital IQ Pro product. The contract-award notice indicates that the online tool – which will be used by civil servants in the DfT’s corporate finance team – will provide users with a “web-based platform for interrogating company and financial market data, and an Excel add-in that allows for advanced data importing and manipulation”.

The intent of the engagement is to provide officials with an insight into the finances of commercial operators providing public transport services, including state-funded services, such as buses and trains, as well as entirely commercially delivered – but regulated – sectors like air travel.

“The aim is to support modal teams by offering monitoring and analysis of financial data on critical transport operators.,” the contact-award notice said. “To provide an effective ‘monitoring’ service, some form of retrieving, interrogating, and presenting company-level financial data is required.”

It added: “Areas of analysis where we use company-level data include: analysis and commentary on transactions [and] M&A (e.g. National Express’s [proposed merger with] Stagecoach); monitoring companies in distress ([because of] COVID [and] Brexit but also airlines regularly in the usual course of business); ownership analysis; stock market analysis, such as comparing performance of the transport sector to the wider market; [and] assisting commercial teams with bespoke financial assessments.”

According to S&P’s website, Capital IQ Pro offers users access to data on a number of issues and drawn from various sources. This includes financial reports for both privately and publicly held firms, supply chain insights, forecasts form experts, credit ratings, pricing information, and breaking news.

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