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Ticketing plan under official scrutiny

By Mathew Dearnaley

The office of the Auditor-General confirmed yesterday that it is investigating the ticketing scheme.  Photo / Kellie Blizard
The office of the Auditor-General confirmed yesterday that it is investigating the ticketing scheme. Photo / Kellie Blizard

Auckland's troubled public transport ticketing project is under scrutiny by the office of Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

Confirming that yesterday, a spokeswoman indicated that the exercise arose from the office's annual plan for the last financial year rather than from any new concerns about the $98 million-plus Hop card project.

In foreshadowing a "special study" aimed at providing Parliament with assurance that a specific transport project is being managed appropriately, the plan referred to the Hop scheme as a possible candidate for the office's attention.

But Labour's transport spokesman, Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford, has written to Ms Provost asking that it include an examination of the decision-making process that allowed Wellington-based Snapper Services to introduce an early Hop card ahead of the main scheme.

Auckland Transport, which is receiving a $56 million Government subsidy in return for allowing the scheme's "back-office" processing centre to be used ultimately by councils in other cities, has put Snapper on notice of claiming extra costs for any delays.

The council organisation wants Snapper to pay for replacements for cards already issued to more than 100,000 passenger for use on services run by NZ Bus, its sister company in the Infratil corporate fold.

Auckland Transport chief operations officer Greg Edmonds said yesterday that talks were continuing with Snapper.

"We are working through the issues to get a resolution as quickly as possible," he said.

- NZ Herald

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