Bidders for the Tube part-privatisation scheme prepare to rebid as GLA's Kiley pushes for a more unified management structure.
Consortia bidding for the £20bn refurbishment of the Tube are due to discuss possible changes to contracts with London transport boss Bob Kiley this month.

The first meetings were scheduled for today and Monday. Kiley is expected to ask for a more unified management structure of the public-private partnership, giving his strategic management team greater say.

DETR officials told the four consortia on Monday that they should expect to rebid next month if deputy prime minister John Prescott agrees to Kiley's proposals.

Consortia members have already expressed concern about the delays and escalating costs resulting from Prescott's decision to permit Kiley to change the PPP contracts at the eleventh hour.

They doubt whether Kiley can reclaim the degree of control he wants over the part-privatised scheme without changing the contracts fundamentally.

A source at Metronet, one of the consortia bidding, said: "The structure of the PPP is a very cleverly and carefully constructed edifice, a complex and impressive jigsaw. To move and reposition the pieces would involve quite a bit of work, to make sure the contract has integrity and it all still works." A source at Tuberail, another bidder, said: "Some people are wondering how you can fit the PPP as originally configured into a unified management structure. The two are incompatible." The source questioned in what way Kiley intended to wrest more control from the infrastructure companies.

He said: "Does he mean that he will determine when and where the works are done? Or does he mean that he will go out to the market and procure the jobs?" The consortia are optimistic that if they submit revised bids next month preferred bidders for the two deep lines and the sub–surface lines will be named in April.

The LINC consortium (Mowlem, Bombardier, Alcatel and Fluor Daniel) and Metronet (Adtranz, WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Seeboard, Thames Water) are shortlisted to take over the Bakerloo, Central, Waterloo and City, and Victoria lines.

Tuberail (Brown & Root, Alstom, Amec and Carillion) and Tubelines (Amey, Jarvis, Bechtel, Hyder, Halcrow) are shortlisted to run the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. LINC, Tubelines and Metronet submitted final offers on Monday for the District and Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and East London lines.