Now Auckland Transport Public Transport Operations Manager Mark Lambert finally got round to mailing me an official response:
Auckland Transport requested a copy of Fullers investigation into the incident that occurred in March 2011. I can advise that an independent company investigator from Wellington conducted two days of covert observations on Waiheke Island. During that period, no evidence of fraudulent driver activity was identified.So, good news, but vigilance remains the by-word. The issuing of correct fares will become less problematic under the HOP scheme, and my hope is that this should see the SuperGold Card integrated into it too. Auckland Transport expects all operators to have become members of the HOP system by the end of 2012.
An interview with the driver in question was conducted and it was concluded that the error occurred due to an inattention detail and poor technique with the use of the Wayfarer (ticketing) equipment.
As a consequence, the Waiheke Bus Company manager has spoken to all drivers to reiterate the correct process for the issue of Super Gold card tickets.
I can confirm that, as part of its Contract Management process, Auckland Transport continuously monitors all Public Transport operator declaration regarding patronage and financial claims made under the concessionary fare reimbursement scheme.
In addition, Auckland Transport administers and monitors the regional declarations made by Public Transport operators as part of the national SuperGold card free travel scheme introduced in October 2008.
In support of this, periodic financial and patronage audits are made across all participating operators.
The audit review seeks to validate the integrity of the supplied data through the following process:
1. Historical trend analysis of patronage movements by contract, route and passenger type.
2. Sample testing of operator daily sales records and reconciliation by monthly declarations.
3. Sample testing of operator on board supervisor/inspector ticketing services.
4. A sample of unannounced observations is made to monitor the validity of the ticket issue process.
5. Auckland Transport conducts regular Mystery Traveller surveys across all operators to monitor customer service and satisfaction levels. These surveys include correct ticket issue for fare tendered.
6. Auckland Transport continuously monitors customer complaints to identify any abnormal trends and actively requests operators to investigate individual cases.
7. Auckland Transport may conduct an independent investigation upon circumstance.