Victoria’s Liberal opposition has said it will refer the retender of the state’s electronic transport ticketing system to the government’s performance watchdog over fears a new deal might not result in service improvements for customers.
Transport Minister Jacinta Allan was quizzed during yesterday’s budget estimates hearings about the improvements Melbourne commuters could expect from a refreshed Myki contract.
The state Liberals have since released a statement threatening to refer the market testing process to the auditor-general or Victorian Ombudsman over claims the state has failed to push for the kind of service improvements already promised in other states.
The state government’s contract with current Myki operator, NTT Data, expires at the end of this year, and it is in the midst of an open market refresh that it narrowed down to three bidders - NTT, Accenture and Cubic Transportation - in July last year.
Earlier this month,The Age reported it had obtained secret tendering documents that suggested the incumbent NTT Data had been down-selected as the preferred tendered in the final stages of the contract renegotiations.
The state opposition has urged Allan to confirm that re-signing with NTT would deliver similar features to what ticketing operators have promised other Australian customers.
In NSW, provider Cubic has committed to trialling contactless credit card payments on the Opal card system in 2017, and has signalled a future move to smartphone payments.
Queensland is in the process of retendering the operation of its Go Card network, which is also currently in the hands of Cubic.
The Liberals said they’re not convinced by the minister’s commitment to improving Myki at this critical contract juncture, despite the lengthy assessment process that has backed the electronic ticketing market test.
“There are reports that Jacinta Allan is about to sign up Victorians for another decade of Myki without even considering other system operators such as London’s proven Oyster card,” the party said in a statement.
“The retendering of this contract is an opportunity to improve the system for Victorian public transport users through use of new technologies such as tap-and-go credit cards or smartphone applications.
“We should be aiming to make this system better, not just keep it the same."
Victoria’s former auditor-general John Doyle previously warned that the state’s transport authority would have to drastically improve its vendor management performance if it was to get the most out of the Myki retender.