Auditor-General: Operational Effectiveness of the Myki Ticketing System (24.6.2015)

Written on the 29 June 2015


24 June 2015

COUNCIL 

Statements on reports and papers 

GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)

 

I am very pleased to rise this afternoon and speak to the Victorian Auditor-General's Office (VAGO) report Operational Effectiveness of the myki Ticketing System of June 2015. From the contributions we have heard in the chamber over the last 15 minutes or so, and the interjections from government benches, it is clear this is a very important report. It highlights the many failings of this ticketing system, which has a very long and sad history.

The Auditor-General's report makes reference to a number of previous reports examining the myki system: the Victorian Ombudsman's 2011 Own Motion Investigation into ICT-enabled Projects, conducted jointly with VAGO; the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee's 2012 Inquiry into Effective Decision Making for the Successful Delivery Of Significant Infrastructure Projects; and related internal reviews undertaken by the Department of Treasury and Finance in 2011 and 2014. That says an enormous amount about the state of the myki ticketing system when the coalition came to government in late 2010. It was a complete and utter mess. It was plagued with significant and real concerns, not only financial but operational as well.

The Auditor-General has referred to a number of those concerns in this report, including those relating to performance. The report also highlights the 'poor initial planning' that resulted in 'myki's original scope and contract being vaguely specified and overly ambitious'. Those remarks are in the opening comments. The report goes on to talk about the cost of developing myki. This is where I think Victorians were absolutely horrified at the actions of the former Labor government, which could not manage a project. This was one of the ICT projects that blew out under Labor by the most extraordinary amount.

It was budgeted for around $494 million and blew out to over $1.5 billion. It is an extraordinary amount of money a billion dollars blown because Labor could not get this right at the outset, and that is because it has a very poor record in managing projects and in managing money.

Mr Elasmar spoke about the significant complaints from consumers, and many other ticketing systems around the world are far simpler, are better understood by commuters and would have been far cheaper. We have all experienced problems with the myki ticketing system, and when in opposition the then shadow Minister for Public Transport, Fiona Richardson, called on the government to rethink its decision to scrap the short-term tickets and rip ticket vending machines out of trams. In December 2012 she said:

The Liberal government's decision to remove single-use tickets will leave commuters with no fallback option and will make the transition to myki even more difficult.

In the same month she called on the Liberal government to:

reverse this ridiculous decision to remove single-use tickets.

Now they are in government, and this is typical and a very common theme with Labor governments they say one thing before the election and then do another. In March 2015 in the Herald Sun the now Labor government disclosed the following:

The Labor government says it won't bring back single-use tickets or return ticket machines to trams, despite arguing strongly for that to happen when in opposition.

This is becoming and a tedious and common theme the government says one thing in opposition and, for political purposes, says another in government. It is very deceitful for the Victorian community.

The Herald Sun article states further:

The state government confirmed that it was not considering reintroducing single-use tickets or the machines on trams to buy them.

Again the coalition was left with this dreadful debacle of a ticketing system. It undertook significant reform to get it to where it is. It is not a legacy of the former coalition government, it is a legacy of Labor. It cannot manage money and it cannot manage projects.

 


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