26 September 2023

Audit finds taxi scheme not a fare go

Start the conversation

A performance audit into the ACT Revenue Office’s management of the ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme has found that the planning and delivery of the Scheme was hampered by a lack of clarity and specificity.

Releasing his report ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme, Auditor-General Michael Harris said he examined the activities of the Office in managing the Scheme and assessed the extent to which the Scheme was meeting its policy objectives.

Mr Harris said the Scheme aimed to provide subsidised taxi fares to permanent ACT residents with a severe or profound activity limitation which prevented them from using public transport.

“The planning and delivery of the Scheme is hampered by a lack of clarity and specificity with respect to its purpose and objectives,” Mr Harris said.

“The ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme Policy Paper articulates a brief objective for the Scheme, the salient feature of which is to ‘improve the affordability of essential services” he said, “while the ACT Revenue Office website states that the Scheme ‘supports social inclusion and economic participation of community members who would otherwise be at risk of social isolation.”

“There is no further guidance or discussion that provides further detail on the intended outcomes of the Scheme and its impact on its members.”

Mr Harris said there was also no documented rationale for the Scheme’s subsidy amounts and subsidy caps, nor was there documentation showing what information was used to establish the subsidy amounts and caps.

He said there was no regular review of the Scheme’s subsidy amounts and caps, which were last updated in 2014.

“The lack of clarity associated with the purpose and objectives of the Scheme, combined with the lack of documentation associated with the Scheme’s subsidy amounts and subsidy caps, means that no assurance can be obtained that the Scheme is meeting the needs or expectations of the community in any meaningful way,” he said.

Mr Harris made four recommendations to clearly articulate the purpose and objectives of the Scheme, review its operation regularly, update policy and procedural guidance, and make the Scheme’s application forms web-based.

The Auditor-General’s 54-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.